1. Agriculture World

India’s Tea Production Indicates a Revival in 2021

According to the Tea Board, the country produced 1,329.04 million kilogrammes (mkg) of tea in 2021. This would represent an increase of 71.51 mkg (5.69%) above the 1,257.53 mkg produced in 2020.

Shivam Dwivedi
Tea Cultivation
Tea Cultivation

After a dramatic drop in 2020, the year 2021 saw India's tea production rebound. According to the Tea Board, the country produced 1,329.04 million kilogrammes (mkg) of tea in 2021. This would represent an increase of 71.51 mkg (5.69%) above the 1,257.53 mkg produced in 2020.

In fact, 2020 will be the first year in a long time that India's tea production would be lower than the previous year. In the previous decade, production had been at an all-time high every year. In 2019, production reached a new high of 1,390.08 mkg. As a result, despite a rebound in production in 2021, output could not match that of 2019. Similarly, it was unable to attain 1,338.63 mkg produced in 2018. In 2017, however, it was more than 1,321.76 mkg.

Former Tea Board member S Ramu remarked, "Higher output in the early months helped to balance the fall in the later half, notably the fourth quarter of 2021."

More importantly, India had a key influence in the world tea map. According to Rajesh Gupta, Compiler of Global Tea Digest, "our compilation of official data obtained from various producing countries shows that global black tea output in 2021 was 2203.38 mkg, up from 2127.82 mkg in 2020, showing a growth of 75.56 mkg or 3.55 percent."

This means that only one country - India – produced 60.32 percent of all worldwide black tea, he explained. Furthermore, India topped the global black tea table, with Kenya and Sri Lanka trailing far behind in second and third place, respectively.

In addition, despite a drop in Kenya, India topped the world in producing more black tea in 2021.

Global Figures

Sri Lanka's output increased by 20.56 mkg, or 7.45 percent, from 276.03 mkg in 2020 to 296.59 mkg in 2021.

Kenya's production, on the other hand, fell to 434.50 mkg from 468.35 mkg, a loss of 33.85 mkg or 7.23%.

"However, Kenya's loss was insufficient to compensate for gains in other nations led by India," Rajesh Gupta explained.

"Last year, favourable weather in most countries aided increasing production. Furthermore, in comparison to 2020, lockdown in many nations was mild in 2021, and tea was exempt from lockdown limitations, allowing for larger output," Dr. Ramu added.

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