Jorhat: Four new tea clones promising enhanced quality and yield have been developed by the Tocklai Experimental Station, the world’s largest tea research facility, here.
``The provisional release of the four clones is expected by October-November, this year. Though a period of 12 years is generally needed before they can be released for commercial purposes, we are going ahead as time is short,” Tea Research
Association of Tocklai director Dr M Hazarika stated.
Hazarika said the tea clones had been in the making for four to five years now and the four clones had the typically rich body and liquor of Assam tea.
The possible implication of climate change has also been taken into account while developing them, he points out.
“The demand for quality is high. We are working on quality planting material, “Hazarika said adding that the thrust was on preserving and enhancing the special quality of Assam tea as well as ensuring greater productivity. The tea facility will first take into account the
success rate of the clones in the Northeast and then depending on it will venture out.
Welcoming the clones, a spokesman of the North Eastern Tea Association said that as rainfall was on a decline in Assam over the years, the tea industry would like a new
variety that would be drought resistant.
He said that the TV1 clone, developed by Tocklai many years back, had been the best till date.
Around 400,000 hectares of tea cultivation is under the command of the Tea Research Association of the Tocklai Experimental Station, a research facility established in 1911.
The area, mostly in the Northeast and partly in north Bengal, accounts for around 950 million kg of tea production per year.
Research on all aspects of tea cultivation and processing is carried out at Tocklai Experimental station, while transfer of technology to its member-estates is carried
out through its advisory network covering over 1000 tea estates spread over the Northeast and north Bengal.
Meanwhile, the tea tablet that had been perfected by the TRA three years back is expected to hit the market later this year.
The technology is ready for transfer. A couple of companies have been short-listed and the council of management will decide on a deal. We shall ensure that the credit to the
TRA and revenue is looked after, Hazarika said.
The tea tablets, involving a production cost of 45 paise only, have been ready for commercial introduction for about three years now.