Hassan/Chikkamagaluru: The months of April, May and June are a high yielding season for tea plantations with the sunshine and occasional rain providing the perfect conditions.
But this has all changed now owing to the drought, so much so that the tea plantations of Hassan and Chikkamagaluru are expecting an almost 40 percent fall in their yield this season.
"Last year, it was good for tea plantations but this summer we cannot expect the same yield owing to lack of rainfall. In fact it could be down by around 40 per cent," said a planter.
“As we haven’t had any rainfall since November last year, we have had no high cropping season ,” noted Mr K M Cariappa, senior manager of the Kadamane Estate in Sakleshpur of Hassan, adding,“Obviously, production has been hit due to the drought.” Although the estate has seven lakes to meet the water requirements of the plantation, they have gone dry as well, he explains .
The scenario is no different at another estate in Javali village in Mudigere in Chikkamagaluru. Said its manager , S. D’Souza, “Old and healthy plants can survive without rain since they are deep-rooted, but young plants will die if there is no rain in about a fortnight.”
Even heavy rain in June will not be of much help as the plantation could be hit by Blister Blitz disease in the absence of sunshine, he explains. The planters are now keeping their fingers crossed that October and November, another high yielding season, will help them recover the losses they are suffering now.