Question: Write a note on India’s Tea industry. Explain various conditions required for developing Tea industry.
Answer: Tea is a commercial crop that is used for making beverages in several parts of the world. The crop first originated in China and later spread to various parts of the world.
India is currently the second largest producer of tea in the world and also one among the largest exporter of the crop.
Tea industry in India
- Majority of tea-growing areas are located in the Eastern Himalayan region spreading from Darjeeling to Arunachal Pradesh.
- In southern parts of the country, tea is grown in states such as Kerala (Munnar), Tamil Nadu (Nilgiris), Karnataka and also Andhra Pradesh.
- The highest quality of tea from India is usually exported but majority of production is consumed domestically.
Conditions for Tea industry
- Soil nature
The soil used for tea plantation should be acidic, well drained and mountainous soil. The gardens are situated along slopes to prevent accumulation of water.
- Climatic conditions
The average temperature must be in range of 12 to 13 degree Celsius. Annual rains should be above 1500mm distributed evenly. Humidity should be low.
Tea industry is a labour-intensive sector with large number of them used for picking tea leaves. The process of sorting and distribution also need labour.
Problems faced by tea industry
- Climate change
Global warming has led to changing of climate all over the world. It has led to unpredictable rainfall, excessive heat and cold wave. This is dangerous for the industry.
Tea garden workers are exploited by owners by making them work for long hours for meager pay. This has been termed a form of bonded labour.
- Reduction in market
The tea drinking population is slowly vanishing due to health conscious nature of society. The industry is facing competition from coffee manufacturers.
Thus, tea industry is one of the largest job creators in rural parts of certain states. It should not be allowed to fail and suitable support of government is required to make them sustain.