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Devastating Rainfall and Hailstorms Ravage Barak Valley’s Tea Industry

Heavy rainfall and hailstorms have battered tea estates across Barak Valley in southern Assam, severely impacting the region’s tea industry. The Surma Valley branch of the Indian Tea Association (SVBITA) and the Tea Association of India (TAI) Barak Valley branch have expressed grave concerns about the extensive damage caused by the inclement weather. The havoc wreaked by hail and thunderstorms has led to significant injury to tea bushes, damage to infrastructure, and disruptions in power supply, exacerbating the challenges faced by an industry already grappling with rising production costs and low prices. With thousands of hectares of tea plantations in Hailakandi and Cachar districts suffering substantial losses, the situation has become increasingly dire. Erratic electricity supply has forced tea gardens to rely on costly captive power generation, further straining profitability. The industry anticipates a staggering 50 percent crop loss in May 2024 compared to the previous year, compounding the economic woes of tea producers in Barak Valley.

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