Kattappana: As the temperature in the region increased, tender leaves in the tea plantations have started to dry out. Drying leaves were found at Upputhara, Vagamon, Peermade and Kumily areas.
Commonly, leaves dry in December and January. Rise and fall in temperature and direct sunlight causes leaves to dry out. Estate owners and tea farmers have started to combat the issue by spraying kaolin mixed water on the plants. Kaolin mixed water can reduce the effects of sunlight that the leaves are exposed to.
Apart from the drying leaves, a plant disease called Red Spider Mites is also puts the farmers and owners in trouble. This is caused through dust and high temperature that affect the tender leaves. Redness on tender leaves is the symptom of the disease.
Due to climate change, helopeltis, a pest also poses threat to the tea plants. Quinalphos pesticide is a solution to this issue.
Though the support rate for tea leaves, according to tea board, is Rs 13.86, based on the quality of tender leaves, it can fetch above Rs 15. However, production of the tea leaves has declined due to climate change, said farmers.