Political unrest in the Darjeeling hills likely to affect the tea industry

The Tea industry in the Darjeeling hills suffered badly recording 30% slump in production in first and second flush teas since the beginning of the new season due to the Political unrest, reports Economic Times.
Senior official of the Darjeeling tea industry expressed the concern about the industry saying that it may suffer losses in 2008 if the movement of teas from gardens to trade destinations is stopped because of the political unrest.
Though the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has exempted the tea industry from the bandh, transport availability for carrying tea to the auction centres and warehouses has been hit by the bandh. Besides, if such sporadic unrest continues, it will be difficult for tea companies to smoothly carry out day-to-day operations; he stated
To compound matters, the monsoon has already hit Darjeeling. Once the rainy season commences, the Darjeeling tea industry starts producing rains teas, which fetch lower prices in the domestic and international markets. The movement of fertilizers and packaging materials to gardens and transportation of processed tea outside Darjeeling and Dooars have already taken a severe hit, courtesy the GJM shutdown. (myiris)


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