"A majority of our members produce tea of medium grade which even with a reasonable market price are failing to match the rising cost of all the inputs required for producing tea," Assam Branch of Tea Association of India (TAI) Chairman C P Sharma told the ABITA's 32nd Biennial General Meeting at Kaziranga on Monday evening.
Tea prices have remained steady during the past few years and good tea has been able to obtain decent prices. But of late, prices have come down in the northern part of the country, but the cumulative action average till date is better than the last year, he said.
But, tea prices in southern part of the country have sharply declined by nearly Rs 20 per kg on year-on-year basis. Lower tea prices in Kenya have limited India CTC tea export leading to a glut in the market, resulting in market price of tea not rising in the same proportions as the rise in the cost for producing tea, he added.

In 2013, world tea production touched 4,819 million kg after crossing the crucial milestone of 4 billion kg in 2010 and India crossed the benchmark figure of 1,200 million kg last year.
According to data available for the current year till September 2014, total tea production was 860 million kg which is marginally lower than the corresponding period last year.
He also lauded the role of small tea growers which play an important role in the Indian tea industry, and in Assam they contribute 35 percent of the total tea production.
North East Tea Association (NETA) Chairman Bidyanand Borkakoty in his address called upon tea planters and tea growers to produce quality tea to attract buyers in the international markets.


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