The prevailing tension in Jammu & Kashmir has taken a toll on Assam, which is the largest supplier of green tea leaves to the Valley.
Millions of kilograms of green tea leaves are rotting in Assam with markets in Kashmir paralysed for 75 consecutive days. The illegal supply of tea leaves to POK, Pakistan and Afghanistan has also taken a hit.
Tea producing factories shutting down
Assam roughly produces 5 to 6 million kg of green tea worth about Rs 125 crore annually. Many of the green tea producing factories in the state have closed down due to uncertainty. Bikash Kashyap, a green tea producer from Biswanath Chariali, said he will switch to orthodox tea production from next year.
‘The dealers from Punjab have stopped taking green tea since the last two months as they are unable to ship the consignments to Jammu,’ he said. ‘I can’t pay my leaf suppliers and workers in my factory. I have already decided to shift to orthodox tea manufacturing from the next season because trade in that category is certain,’ Kashyap added.