World tea output up 10.24%

Wednesday, 17 November 2010 23:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Global tea production has increased by 10.24 per cent so far this calendar year over the corresponding period last year, reveals an analysis of the latest information received from producing and trading organisations of different countries.

Tea production has increased to 1,221.66 million kg (mkg) from 1,108.21 mkg. This increase of 113.45 mkg over last year, marks a growth of 10.24 per cent.

While African countries have posted a higher production, Asian countries barring Sri Lanka have reported a lower output.

The bulk of the increase of 78.57 mkg has come from Kenya whose production till August was 260.59 mkg. The next highest increase of 38.80 mkg has happened in Sri Lanka taking the production till August to 221.30 mkg.

Uganda’s production has risen by 6.01 mkg to reach 37.69 mkg. Production has increased in Malawi and Zimbabwe as well. But, Indian production has fallen by 10.40 mkg to dip to 584.90 mkg. This is despite south Indian production rising by 9.90 mkg to reach 162 mkg because North Indian output has fallen by 20.30 mkg to dip to 422.90 mkg. Nevertheless, at 584.90 mkg, India tops the world production. Indonesia and Bangladesh have also reported a lower output.

Tri-nation tea deliberation calls for aggressive promotion

Coonoor: In the context of global tea output rising significantly so far this year over last year, a tri-nation deliberation of Malawi, Malaysia and India at the Plantation Management Academy (PMA) here has underlined aggressive promotion to avoid glut.

The deliberation observed that while Africa’s tea output has increased significantly, production is rising in Asia since September.

“We began 2010 with a deficit of 4.5 million kg (mkg), but now, we have a surplus of 120 mkg. All producing nations must launch aggressive promotion to ensure absorption of surplus at remunerative prices,” PMA Director, Dr. A.V.K. Iyengar, told Business Line.

Underlining that promotion should highlight tea’s merit, not producers’ mercy, the session identified a three-pronged approach — health, social and environment.

“Promotion has to highlight global researchers’ findings that tea has positive health impact. As anti-oxidant, tea reduces the risk of heart ailments including stroke, cholesterol, blood clotting and pressure. Tea fights against cancer. It is good for teeth, bones, nerves and digestion. For the ageing, tea reduces skin problems and improves quality of life. Tea Board India is stressing that black tea has as much positive health aspects as green tea,” Dr. Iyengar noted.

Socially, tea has to be promoted as a symbol of hospitality. “Besides, when you buy tea, you support an environment-friendly least polluting agro-operation,” he stressed.

Since tea imports are unavoidable but manageable in the post-World Trade Organisation era, the deliberation has underlined the need to devise strategies to overcome key limiting factors.