Lack of rain brings down tea output

Govinda Chhetri

Jhapa, June 29:

The production of green tea leaves has decreased by 50 per cent due to continuing drought-like conditions in Jhapa district.

Shyam KC, a tea farmer in Maheshpur VDC said, “Although we started plucking green leaves by the month of Chaitra, we have been able to merely collect only about 50 per cent green tea leaves compared to previous year. Owing to the absence of rainfall, we could not apply fertilizer which has led to an increase in the attack by insects. Pesticides have proved to be inactive. It is all due to the prevailing the drought.”

Pradip Shrestha, proprietor of Shrestha Kaman, Prithvinagar, said, “We are applying 200 litres of pesticides instead of 50 litres but even that has proved to be ineffective, as most pesticides do not function at temperatures above 38 degree Celsius.”

There has been an outbreak of Red-spider (insects which feast on tea leaves) and Thrips (a white insect which spoils buds and leaves) which has alarmed tea farmers in the area.