Terai

The w'hole credit goes to Mr. J. White for initiating tea cultivation in the Terai region. Terai was equipped with its first tea garden at Champta, close to Siliguri, in 1862. However, the industry developed afterward. The grow'th of the number of tea gardens in the Terai region is presented in Table 3.9.

Number of Tea Gardens in Terai

From the table, it is noticed that from 1961 to 1990, the number of tea gardens was increasing systematically. From 1990 onw'ard, it took a downturn. The sudden decrease in the number of tea gardens from the year 1990 indicates the worse effects of globalization. How'ever, no uniform statistics are available regarding the number of tea estates in the West Bengal region. The published statistics by the various organizations on the number of tea estates in West Bengal are not the same. Hence, this is a matter of confusion.

Growth of Tea Production in Terai

Table 3.10 reveals that the production of tea cultivation has increased by 1,865.80 percent over 63 years, i.e., from 1951 to 2014. Tea production of the Terai region recorded a steady progress over the last six decades.

Table 3.9

Growth of Number of Tea Gardens in Terai (1961-2014)

Year

Number of Tea Gardens

Year

Number of Tea Gardens

1961

47

1986

62

1971

48

1988

73

1980

48

1990

82

1985

63

2014

45

Source: Combination data from Mitra (2010), Government of West Bengal (2013).

Table 3.10 Production of Tea in Terai (Figures in ’000 kg)

Year 1951 1961 1971 1981 1990 2001 2014 % Increase

over 1951

Production 6,376 9,253 12,954 15,782 21,130 49,388 1,25,340 1865.80

Trend of Tea Production in Terai Source Authors own calculation

Figure 3.5 Trend of Tea Production in Terai Source Authors own calculation.

Figure 3.5 of tea production in the Terai region shows a positive trend since 1951. The maximum production of tea has been observed during 2001-2014, which is 153 percent followed by the period during 1990 to 2001 (133.73 percent), 1951-1961 (45.12 percent), 1961-1971 (39.99 percent), 1981-1990 (33.88 percent), and 1971-1981 (21.83 percent). While the performances of the other tea-producing regions were passive during 1990-2014, Terai region has shown an outstanding performance.

Tea Cultivation Area in Terai

It is noticed that the area of tea cultivation in Terai has been increased by 491.52 percent for 63 years, i.e., in 1951-2014. From 1990 onwards, it took a sharp upward turn. However, the period 2001-2014 has shown the maximum increase in the area of tea cultivation in this region, w'hich was 141.87 percent.

Particulars of Employer/Management Associations

There is seven tea planters’ association/management in the North Bengal region of the Indian tea industiy. These are as follow's:

i. Dooars Branch of Indian Tea Association (DBITA)

ii. Terai Branch of Indian Tea Association (TBITA)

iii. Darjeeling Tea Association (DTA)

iv. Darjeeling Branch of Indian Tea Association (DITA)

v. Indian Tea Planters Association (ITPA)

vi. Tea Association of India (TAI)

vii. Terai Indian Planters’Association (TIPA)

In the tea industry of North Bengal, DBITA is the largest employers’ association, having membership of 94 tea estates followed by DTA, ITPA, TAI, DITA, and TIPA. Eleven tea estates do not belong to any employer association.

References

Ghosh, B. C. (1970). Development of the tea industry in the district of Jalpaiguri 1869-1968. Calcutta, India: Newman’s Printers, p. 23.

Government of West Bengal. (2013). Synopsis on survey of tea gardens. Kolkata, India: State Labour Institute, WB, p. 5.

Griffiths, P. (1967). The history of the Indian tea industry. London, England: Wei-denfeld and Nicolson, pp. 89-92.

Hazarika, K. (2011). Changing market scenario for Indian tea. International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, 2(4), pp. 285-287.

Mitra, D. (2010). Globalization and industrial relations in tea plantations. New Delhi, India: Abhijit Publications.

Saha, S. P, and Ghosh, A. G. (2013). Development of the tea industry in the district of Jalpaiguri 1869-1968. In B. C. Ghosh (Ed.), Development of the tea industry in the district of Jalpaiguri 1869-1968 (p. 10). Siliguri, India: N. L. Publishers.

 
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