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Assam tea planters plan green drive to fight climate change

Last modified February 26, 2015 15:15

The Tribune. New Delhi, 24 February 2015

In order to cope with the increasing impact of climate change, tea planters in Assam have decided to increase the green belt cover in tea estates and create more water bodies on vacant lands within tea estates. The problem of climate change vis-à-vis tea output came up for discussion during a seminar organised by the ‘Assam International Trade and Industrial Fare 2015’ at Jorhat on Monday. The tea industry in Assam has been facing erratic and unfavorable climate conditions for almost a decade now. “We have been faced with droughts, uneven distribution of rainfall pattern and have recorded extremely high temperatures – a phenomenon not experienced by the tea industry before,” said Prabhat Bezboruah, Assam Tea Planters’ Association (Jorhat) chairman. To address the issue of climate change, the association has taken the lead to enter into a consultation with eminent scientists in order to make the planting community aware of the weather-changing patterns as also equip them to combat the uncertainties in times ahead, he said. Tea estates have experienced uneven distribution of rainfall and prolonged drought-like conditions, leading to burn out of tea bushes and flash floods in tea plantation areas due to sudden heavy bursts of rain. This phenomenon has been opposed to excellent distribution of rainfall, retention of water for the healthy growth of bushes and moderate temperature conditions which used to promote ideal conditions for tea growth. The symposium was anchored by Abhijit Sharma, managing director, Madhupur Tea Estate. He conducted the proceedings with the professional inputs of Manoj Jallan, former chairman, North East Tea Association (NETA). Dr N Muraleedharan, director, Tea Research Association, Tocklai Tea Research Institute, Jorhat, attended the consultation.

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