The tea industry is going through a problem of oversupply with slow growth of domestic consumption and exports remaining stagnant, a Tea Board official said on Tuesday.
As compared to 2018, tea production in the country has increased by 51 million kilograms in the last year, resulting in an oversupply situation.
“The tea industry is in problem. Production in 2019 is up by 51 million kilograms as compared to previous calendar year,” Tea Board deputy chairman Arun Kr Ray told PTI.
Small tea growers are contributing a large portion of annual production of the crop, he said.
“Growth in domestic consumption has become stagnant for sometime while exports have remained flat,” Ray said.
The tea consumption in the country was at 1,109 million kilograms as compared to 1,084 million kilograms in the previous year.
In the absence of growth in domestic consumption and exports, there is need to tackle with the oversupply situation this year, he said.
“If we don’t get an avenue to absorb excess production, the small tea growers will not get remunerative prices”, Ray said.
To popularise tea consumption, the board has collaborated with a YouTube channel ‘Foodka’ to highlight the nitty-gritty of the industry right from production to consumption.
CTC (Crush, tear, curl) production has increased by 24.92 million kilograms and orthodox variety by 28.56 million kilograms, according to the official data.
Production of green tea has decreased by 2.42 million kilograms in 2019.
During January to November in 2019, tea exports stood at 227.71 million kilograms as compared to 231.36 million kilograms shipped out in the corresponding period of the previous year.