Tea World

Lesson 29

Constraints in Organic Tea Cultivation

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Crop losses in organic gardens are in tune of average of 20-25 percent of its original potential, with some of the gardens recording losses as high as 30-40 percent. Once lost, the crop never gets recovered and the myth of going up at a later stage is not true, even after practicing organic cultivation for more than 15-20 years. The cultivation practices are very labour-intensive and the usual requirement would be 1:1.5 to 1.75 in comparison of conventional practice Additional workers are required for organic tea cultivation in comparison to conventional tea cultivation and they are required for trenching, compost preparation, weed control, application of bulky and concentrated organic manures and shade regulation. With current labour shortages, this is going to be more challenging day by day.

Nutrient supplements are bulky and carry higher transportation and application costs. Nutrients are very slow in release, time taking in translocation, assimilation and reflection in yield, hence does not give desired result, even after adequate quantity applied. Botanical, microbial and other bio-pesticides’ efficacy are quite low and in times of severe infestation, they are not of much use.

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