McLeod Russel, the country's
largest bulk producer of tea, is expecting a decline in production by around 5.5 million kg in the current fiscal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a company official said on Monday.
The company's usual production volume is close to 52 million kg, out of which nearly eight million kg are purchased from small growers.
"Last year, across Assam and West Bengal, our own production volume was 46 million kg. We bought additionally around six million kg from small growers," Wholetime Director of McLeod Russel Azam Monem said.
He said this year, as the gardens suffered production loss in March and the whole of April due to the coronavirus lockdown, only some skiffing activity only took place.
"So far, our own production loss is around 4 million kg and we will be able to purchase only 1.5 million kg from small growers," Monem told PTI.
The tea industry's production loss will be around 115 million kg this year, while in terms of revenue, the figure is likely to be Rs 2,000 crore, he said.
McLeod Russel's loss will be nearly Rs 85 crore in the current fiscal, the company official said.
"We hope to make some recovery in June and July. We want to protect the valuable second flush that comes from the middle of May," Monem said.
While Assam has allowed 100 per cent workforce in tea gardens, the West Bengal government has given consent for only 50 per cent, he said.
"We have approached the state government for allowing 100 per cent workforce," he added.
The Williamson Magor Group company has 31 gardens in Assam and two in north Bengal.
Monem said the government should provide some financial stimulus in the form of enhanced working capital limit from banks in this challenging scenario.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)