Tea expert recommends mechanised plucking of tea leaves

2017-07-19     Source: indiatimes
A tea expert from Japan has recommended mechanised plucking of tea leaves for more productivity, reduce cost of production and resolve the problem of labour shortage.

Shingo Hattori, a tea expert from Ochiai in Japan said this during his presentation at an international seminar on 'Mechanisation in Tea' jointly organised by Tocklai Tea Research Institute, Jorhat and Ochiai, Japan.

"Price of Japanese green tea is increasing annually but its production registers a decreasing trend in July as the Japan Tea Industry has to skip production due to high temperature that month leading to the rise in price, Hattori said at the seminar yesterday.

"So we need to stress on mechanisation to reduce cost of production as weather condition is hitting hard production yield", the tea expert asserted.

"When we (Japan) compare with India in tea production per hectare, India's production is much higher and Japan's is much poor.

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In Japan we have limited grounds for the four tea plucking rounds from April to November", Shingho said.

"But the problem we are facing in Japan is the temperature which is very high in the month of July and August when lots of weeds and insects impede tea yield necessitating use of fertilisers", he added.

Comparing Japan's tea production to Kenya that practices plucking 24 to 25 rounds throughout the year, Hattori claimed that machine plucking has a positive note for more productivity and quite a number of gardens in Kenya were machine plucking tea which is not labour intensive.

Stating Japan too is facing labour shortage like India in the tea sector where workers daily wages increase the cost of production, he said, "that is why many companies in Japan instead of the manual plucking process have now come up with plucking machines which is to benefit the tea sector not only in Japan but also in other parts of the world.

He informed that Japanese tea sells for 15 to 18 US Dollars per 100 grams. Hattori said Japanese green tea is unique and that Japan does not produce CTC but orthodox green tea only which are produced with the help of machines that sort the tea leaves.

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