Annual crop loss of 147 million Kg due to pest attacks: Tea Research Body

Source(s): OutlookIndia - Outlook Group, the

Amid rising temperatures and prolonged rainless periods due to climate change, large-scale attacks of pests and diseases in tea plantations across the country have become worrisome for planters with an estimated annual crop loss of around 147 million kg, an industry body said on Saturday.

Tea Research Association, in its statement, said the revenue loss due to pest infestation in tea plantations is pegged at Rs 2,865 crore per year. "Pest and diseases were present earlier, but it has aggravated over the last few years.

In north India, the incidence of pest attacks was initially limited to a few areas in Dooars in West Bengal and the south bank of Assam, but has been spreading rapidly in other tea-growing regions of Cachar, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling and Terai over the last two decades," TRA secretary Joydeep Phukan said.

The major pests prevalent in north Indian tea plantations are tea mosquito bugs and looper caterpillars apart from thrips. There has been also a growing incidence and spread of termite infestation in northeast India, which is spreading to new areas, the TRA official said.

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