Tea World

Lesson 7

Growth of Assam Tea Industry

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The Tea Plantation Industry of Assam is an agro-based industry having a very peculiar past history. The Assam tea industry is more than 180 years old and during this long journey the tea industry had to experience many ups and downs. Already you have come to know how the Assam tea plant was discovered and Assam tea industry took off to grow.

Mr.C.A.Bruce who was highly ambitious started tea plantations in quick succession at Dinjoy, Chota Tingri and Hukanpukhuri. Colonel White had desposed the Ahom King Purander Singha in 1839 and Assam came under direct British Government.In the same year, some merchants of Calcutta had formed the Bengal Tea Association and a Joint Stock Company was formed in London.These two companies got combined and formed the first Indian Tea Company in 1839 called “Assam Company” which happens to be the first Joint Stock Company in India.The Assam Company was the first Joint Stock Company established in India under an Act of Parliament. The local authorities were directed by the Governor General in Council to allow the Assam Tea Company to capture as much lands as might be required for the development of the tea industry, under Waste Land Grants Rule, 1838. The tea industry rapidly expanded, consuming vast tracts of land for tea plantations. The Assam Tea Company started plantation in Gabharu Hill in the District of Sivsagar, to start with. The Assam Company established a tea garden at Nazira on the bank of river Dkhow.In subsequent year,Maijan Tea Company was formed in 1851 by establishing Maijan tea estate near Dibrugarh. By 1852 the prospects of tea began to improve further and in 1859   there were nearly 4000 acres under cultivation with an estimated out turn of over 760000 lbs of tea. In 1872, there were about 300 tea gardens in the Assam Valley, out of which Cachar and Sylhet housed 80 and 13 respectively. In 1972, there were 957 gardens in Assam against 941 in the preceding year. 

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