Md. Mizanur Rahman
In Bangladesh, tea is a cash crop that significantly benefits both our economy and food security. Hence, the study aimed to assess the present pattern of tea production and the impacts of rainfall patterns on tea yield and made tea quality. The empirical data was collected from ten tea gardens covering three tea-producing administrative divisions and six districts of Bangladesh. The cost of production and profit-loss were examined to link with rainfall distribution. Likewise, the daily income of permanent workers, the job market of the contractual workers, and the workers’ associated welfare were critically analyzed to understand the social impact. The results showed that the Rangpur division faces incremental dryness; in contrast, the Sylhet division exhibited a steady pattern with a high frequency of continuous heavy rainfall. The rainfall pattern of the Chottogram division was highly unpredictable and oscillated. Long spell drought and heavy showers followed by flash floods affect tea yield. According to respondents’ perception, the rainfall pattern showed changing behaviours that are not favourable for tea production. The emergence of new pests and deterioration of soil characteristics were reported. Bangladesh enjoyed the most pleasant weather for tea production in 2019. The cost of production increases with the adverse weather, which increases the loss for the growers. Profit loss of growers is a determinant of the welfare of the workers impacting their livelihoods. The organic tea garden is not affected by climatic events. Consequently, the socio-economic conditions of the organic garden are safeguarded. Hence, the study recommends following organic farming to cope with climate change. Differently, it was reported that the intermediaries’ hegemony in the market chain is more problematic than climate change. Policy initiatives are warranted to correct the market and to establish gardeners’ and consumers’ rights.
Keywords: Rainfall; Cost of production; Pest emergence; Daily income; Job market.