The country's tea industry has begun to bounce back, shaking off the adverse effects prompted by drought, incessant rain and coronavirus-led restrictions on movement. Full swing tea production has resumed since July after production was hampered for the first four consecutive months of the current year.
Tea production, sales and auction prices have already surpassed the previous year's figures.
The 13 biddings of the current auction year sold 28.64 lakh kilograms of tea, more than that in the same time of the previous year. And the average tea prices have surpassed last year's prices too. Industry insiders said the sector will be able to bounce back if the trend continues.
Tea production witnessed drought and then heavy rain at the beginning of the year. However, the production rebounded in the last May-July period and surpassed the previous year's records.
Though the Bangladesh Tea Board is yet to receive the production information of August, concerned officials hope August production will also surpass the year-on-year yield. They believe last year's production deficit would be filled up in the next two to three months.
The chairman of the Tea Traders Association of Bangladesh, Mainuddin Hasan, said the situation has improved, counteracting the fallout of the pandemic, drought and heavy rains. Tea prices have reached the desired level in auctions. Garden owners and tea traders are hopeful about overcoming the losses.
"There was a production slump at the beginning of the year. However, tea production has started to climb since May. We hope the production will increase further in future," Bangladesh Tea Board Secretary Kula Pradip Chakma told The Business Standard.
Red spider mite and tea mosquito bugs attacked the gardens during the drought in the January-April period. Then came the heavy rain and coronavirus pandemic brewing trouble for tea production.
Dantmara Tea Estate, Chattogram Project Director Mojammel Hossain said, "We have resumed full swing production offsetting the crises, and demand for tea is also on the rise."
He hoped to overcome the losses soon if the uptrend continues.
According to the Bangladesh Tea Board, tea production in May amounted to 86.55 lakh kilograms, which is 10.10 lakh kilograms more than that in the previous year. In May, 2019, 76.45 lakh kilograms of tea was produced in Bangladesh.
Tea production in July stood at 1.21 crore kg, which is 10.74 lakh kilograms more than in July of the previous year. The year-on-year production was 1.10 crore kilograms.
The country produced 3.98 crore kilograms of tea in the January-July period this year.