COVID– 9 lockdown: Tea gardens in Medo losing output

Medo-  Due to the lockdown to combat covid-19,  the Tea Gardens in Medo area of Lohit district has losing in its output. “With the first flush crop due for plucking in the early April and is overgrown. Also the second flush that begin to harvest in May  if not harvested will overgrown affecting the quality and virtually losing huge profit being earned especially during this Spring season. The farmer totally depended on the tea garden and the laborer engaged are equally affected”, said Sanjay Ngadong one of the farmer.

When contacted Retired CE PHED said that the tea estates of Wakro – Medo had already submitted memorandum to Chief Secretary GoAP for immediate relaxation for inter – district movement for tea growers to sell their harvest.

“We are going through worst situation as our bumper harvests at this season are immensely wasted.  As after tea plants have over grown and we had to get engaged huge labours in skiffing (removal of overgrown tea leaves) because we could not sale out the produce. Also to sustain the workers we need adequate income else our economy will be in great crisis.

From where we will pay wages to them, we have approximately 500 of laborers managed by local growers, if this lockdown continues we are heading towards impending economic crisis”, rues Kri who is also the General Secretary of Wakro – Medo Tea Grower Association.

Further he said that Medo do not have a single Tea Factory and therefore directly depends on neighboring district and Assam to sale their produce.

Like this several  farmer who owned acres of tea plantation bear the brunt of the lockdown.

Some of the estates owner said new leaves after due for plucking were left untouched since March and overgrown leaves are being pruned for which the owner had to bear the overload.

The worst hit will be the large estates holder that has not been able to sell its first flush tea are Sosai Manyu, Retired CE Lupalum Kri, Asora Ngadong, Sokio Dellang, Bajongso Kri and many more small and large tea estates holders are the worst hit in the lockdown as their monthly transaction in the tune of lakhs are badly affected.

“This is another misfortune and calamity like situation the gardeners are going to be suffered with because of COVID – 19 national lockdown.

How long we depend on government? Govt. cannot feed all the time, we have to do farming. If this lockdown continues than the worst loser will be those petty growers who have been solely depended on tea garden and other agriculture activities”, question Arosa Ngadong one of the tea garden holders.

Meanwhile, over 600 acres of land areas has been brought under tea cultivation in the Wakro – Medo areas of Lohit district.

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