Darjeeling tea area to be enhanced

Kolkata: The Darjeeling tea industry plans to bring about 10,000 additional hectares under tea cultivation over the next few years, Sanjay Bansal, Chairman of the Darjeeling Tea Association, the industry apex body said.

He told The Hindu that this was necessary to compensate for the loss of crop that would result from the replantation and rejuvenation programme now under implementation under the Special Purpose Tea Fund (SPTF).

At present, about 40 per cent of the licensed land amounting to about 17,500 hectares is used for growing the famous brew. The present area is spread over 87 tea estates.

Darjeeling tea accounts for eight per cent of the total value of production and is certainly one of India’s best known commodity exports.

The proposed upgradation of the existing research facility at Kurseong by the Tea Board aims to increase production and productivity.