India Intelligence Report

   Assam Plans to fortify Tea Brand


With declining revenues due to declining quality of once preeminent Assam Tea accounting for 60% of India’s tea output, the newly elected Government of Assam has initiated several steps to reclaim the lost glory.

India was once the largest tea producer in the world but now trails Kenya and Sri Lanka because of a series of issues overwhelming Indian tea production. For instance, most of the tea bushes in Assam are more than 50 years old and therefore producing less. To compensate, some growers have been including tea from other areas but marketing it as Assam Tea.

However, the problem started a little earlier when past Governments a decade ago thought it best to encourage villagers to grow tea as means of employment to offset poverty brought by years of insurgency—10% of Assam’s 26 million populations are unemployed. Growers accuse such short-sighted policies as reasons why the quality has dropped. There are 40,000 small tea growers in Assam growing 100 million kilograms of tea which is sold in the open market and also exported.

The British started tea plantation in 1830s and Assam is the largest tea growing region in the world.

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