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Sharp Fall in Temperature Hits Munnar's Tea Plantations

According to industry sources, the company has yet to assess the extent of the damage. Sub-zero temperatures are also being experienced in the states of Silent Valley, Thenamallat, Nullani, Kanniamallay, Sevenmallay, Chittavurra, and Madupatti.

Shivam Dwivedi
Tea Plantation in Munnar
Tea Plantation in Munnar

A sharp drop in temperature to sub-zero levels in certain parts of Munnar has put the local tea industry in a spot. For example, the Thundavurrai Estate of Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company (KDHP), where the temperature has dropped to minus 1 degree, has suffered crop loss due to damaged tea bushes.

According to industry sources, the company has yet to assess the extent of the damage. Sub-zero temperatures are also being experienced in the states of Silent Valley, Thenamallat, Nullani, Kanniamallay, Sevenmallay, Chittavurra, and Madupatti. The sharp drop in temperature is expected to have a negative impact on Tea production in the current fiscal year.

Climate Change

Munnar experienced sub-zero temperatures for the first time since the beginning of winter on Wednesday. Frost usually falls in the hill range by the end of December or early January. Frosty weather has delayed the arrival of ready-to-harvest tea leaves in hectares of plantations.

In the range of 60-63 million kg, the Munnar region accounts for nearly half of Kerala's total tea production. Ajith B.K., Secretary of the Kerala Association of Planters, said climate change is definitely affecting the tea sector in the state, with extreme temperature variations during the day and night and extreme rainfall patterns throughout the year.

The current situation is detrimental to overall production and has a significant impact on the occurrence of pests and diseases in tea plantations. Such climate variations, he added, have a direct impact on the cost of production in tea plantations.

According to Y.C. Stephen, state president of the Small Tea Growers' Federation, Kattappana, the Munnar region was the hardest hit by frost, with around 200 hectares affected.

Subzero temperatures have also been reported from tea plantations in Peermed and Vagamon, affecting the earnings of thousands of workers, particularly women, who rely on tea plantations for a living.

He estimated that it would take at least 45 days to return to normal after the productive shoots dried up due to the cold weather.

Stay tuned with Krishi Jagran for more Agri News!!

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