Tea in Uttarakhand and Poverty COVID & World (DTE 16-31 October 2020) (Download PDF)

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Tea in Uttarakhand

  • Dehradun: 486 ha
  • Kasuani: 158 ha
  • Malla Katyur: 205 ha
  • Local brand: Nandadevi

UPASI-9 variety uses NPK, bio-fertilizer and farmyard manure – recommended due to its drought tolerance, frost resistance, high yield and ability to withstand slightly high pH.

  • Uttarakhand is not known as a tea-growing state, it has a long tryst with the evergreen shrub, named Camellia sinensis in scientific lexicon. Over 150 years ago when tea cultivation began in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal and several other states in south India, a consignment of 20,000 tea seedlings from Kolkata had also reached the Uttarakhand region. In the 1880s, as many as 63 sprawling tea gardens spread over 4,428 hectares (ha) in the region, registering a production of 770,270 kg in 1897 and each employing over 500 people.
  • Government reintroduced tea in the Uttarakhand hills in 1987 by taking culturable wastelands on lease and reviving the abandoned British-era tea gardens. In 2004, soon after Uttarakhand was created a separate state, the Uttarakhand Tea Development Board (UTDB) was set up with the job to promote eco-friendly, organic, and quality tea plantations over 9,000 ha.
  • Arcadia today manufactures just 70,000 kg of green tea in a season, compared to 3,500, 000 kg a few decades ago.
  • The industry՚s decline became particularly evident after Independence due to factors including migration of skilled labor, poor technical knowledge among the local people, rampant encroachment on tea estates, market competition, shortage of fuel for tea processing, the absence of good transport facilities, lack of silvicultural management of tea gardens and invasion of weeds like Lantana.
  • Farmers in Uttarakhand had abandoned agriculture because of monkey and wild boar menance. Since tea does not get raided by these animals, this can act as an incentive for the farmers to return to fields.
  • Cattle manure not only contains high amounts of potassium, a major nutrient for tea plant, but also has the acid humus that helps in moisture absorption. This can also help shape the microbial composition and recruit beneficial bacteria into the rhizosphere of tea, thereby leading to improved tea quality and reduced heavy metal contents in tea leaves
  • Tea plantations in Uttarakhand gain their full potential only after seven years and profitable yields are harvested after 12 years.
  • Planting of insect-pest repellent trees like Melia azedarach, Adathoda vesica and fodder crops like lemongrass and Guatemala grass would also enhance the overall returns from tea gardens.

Poverty – COVID & World

  • India will add 8 - 10 million new poor
  • Wind and solar power would cut down 4.5 billion tonnes of carbon
  • dioxide emissions over the next three years, and add 1.1 % to global economic growth every year
  • World economy estimated to shrink by 6 % in 2020 – Covid + storms, heat waves, ice melting and wildfires
  • Germany and France are also trying to integrate climate change mitigation into their post-pandemic economic recovery strategies. In June this year, Germany announced that it will provide US $ 2.36 billion worth of funds to its construction sector for energy efficient buildings.
  • International Energy Agency (IEA) has planned a three-year investment totaling $ 1 trillion
  • China (28 % total emissions of world – largest GHG emitter) aim to be carbon neutral by 2060
  • Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2020, released by non-profits Climate Action Network, German Watch and New Climate Institute, no country has done well enough to get into the very high rating in the index which is basically the top three ranks of the index. Among the G-20 countries, which are some of the biggest GHG emitters, only India and the UK rank among the high performers. In fact, eight of the G-20 countries rank among the low performers.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 10, 2021

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