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Nepalese tea industry could benefit from India’s Covid restrictions

A cup of tea from Nepal

Tea growers in Nepal are a worried lot as the sprouting of leaves for first flush has been delayed by more than three weeks. The winter drought in the Himalayan country has led to weakening of production.

According to Kathmandu Post, “tea growers in Nepal’s eastern hills are worried that the poor harvest will continue for the later harvests during the second, third and fourth flush harvests.”

The newspaper said that “the harvest for the first flush had almost halved than normal. New leaves are not sprouting in tea plants for the second flush harvest which normally starts in May.”

However, Nepalese tea industry may benefit from an increased demand from India. Several states in India have imposed various Covid 19 induced restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. This could dent harvest of tea in India.

The increased Covid-19 cases in India, one of the world’s largest tea producers as well as exporters, may trigger a massive demand for tea in India as well as other overseas markets, Kathmandu Post observed.

China and India are the two largest tea producing countries in the world.

Due to the nationwide stringent lockdown last year, India’s tea producers, especially those engaged in the premium Darjeeling tea, lost about 45-50 per cent of output year-on-year. Darjeeling tea is primarily exported to Europe and the US.