Tea Board of India recently graded the country’s 1,421 registered tea gardens for quality agricultural practices, replantation, infrastructure, and working conditions.
Tea Board Chairman Santos Sarangi said government’s interest is infrastructure and resource conditions and the application of scientific management.
“While the good gardens will be felicitated, those that are performing below the standards will be consulted on how they can make improvements,” writes Sarangi. Tea Board officials say the rating will help gardens identify shortcomings and encourage growers to take steps to address the same.The ranking drew the ire of growers in Darjeeling who complained to the press. Thirty-five of the Darjeeling gardens received a “B+” and 39 were graded “B,” with 17 earning a “C.” One received a “D.” A primary concern expressed by evaluators was lower yields compared to much of India and the lack of replanting in the region.