02 July 1998
‘Time for India to improve tea quality’

INDIAS tea industry benefited from record production and high prices in 1997, according to the annual report of J Thomas, the worlds largest tea broker.

The Tea Market Annual Report and Statistics says it can now begin improving the quality of its tea and the productivity of its gardens. Sri Lanka exported 258 million kg of tea in 1997 compared with Indias 203m kg and it has improved the quality of production in the past two years.

And Kenya is set to harvest a record crop this year which is expected to be of a higher quality, says the report.

The Commonwealth of Independent States will remain the most important destination for Indian tea this year. They raised tea imports from India by 44.75m kg to 95.65m kg last year.

The Government in West Bengal has been regularly releasing land in the Kerai region for tea cultivations. Lower agriculture and corporate tax is also leaving much more money with the tea companies for development.

  • Financial Times 02/07/98 page 42