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The Boom in the Indian Tea Industry | UPSC | One Young India

India has implemented a number of measures to increase production, develop a specialised brand for Indian tea, and guarantee the wellbeing of the families involved in the tea sector.

The Boom in the Indian Tea Industry | UPSC | One Young India

The Indian Tea Industry: An Introduction

With almost 23% of the world's total production, India is the second-largest producer of tea. Millions of people are employed by the tea industry in India, which also contributes to the GDP of the nation. In India, tea is grown in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. Tea lovers all around the world are drawn to the distinctive flavour characteristics of the Darjeeling and Assam tea types.

Current State of the Indian Tea Industry

Recent years have seen a number of difficulties for the Indian tea business, including diminishing production levels, climate change, labour troubles, and rising competition from other tea-producing nations. Despite these difficulties, the sector has persevered and has continued to support India's economic expansion.

Business Dynamics

  • Around 70% of the tea produced in the nation is consumed domestically, making India the world's largest consumer of tea. India's demand for tea is steadily rising as a result of factors like population growth, urbanisation, and lifestyle modifications.

Indian tea exports make up about 13% of the world's total tea commerce. Russia, Iran, the United States, and the United Kingdom are India's top export markets. India's market share for tea is impacted by fierce rivalry from other nations that produce tea, including China, Kenya, and Sri Lanka.

  • Value Addition: To meet the rising demand for specialty teas, flavoured teas, and ready-to-drink goods, Indian tea manufacturers are putting more of an emphasis on value addition. Value-added products are becoming more popular in an effort to boost profitability and meet changing consumer demands.

Issues the Indian Tea Industry Must Address

  • Climate Change: Changes in temperature, rainfall patterns, and an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events all have a negative impact on the yield and quality of tea grown in India.

  • Labour Concerns: The Indian tea business employs millions of people, mostly in the tea estates, and is quite labor-intensive. Unrest among the workforce has been a result of problems like poor salaries, a lack of social security, and unsuitable living circumstances in a number of tea-producing districts.

  • Tiny Tea Growers: The growth of tiny tea growers, who currently produce around 50% of India's tea, has made it difficult to uphold standards of quality and guarantee fair prices for these producers.

The Indian Tea Industry Has Opportunities

  • Diversification: To boost profitability and meet shifting consumer demands, the Indian tea business has the opportunity to expand into new markets and segments, such as organic tea, specialty tea, and tea tourism.

  • Adoption of contemporary technology and agricultural methods can increase tea yields, lower production costs, and boost the industry's overall effectiveness.

  • Sustainability: The industry may position itself as a responsible and ethical actor in the global tea market by emphasising sustainable tea production practises, such as water conservation, waste management, and fair labour practises.


Despite confronting many difficulties, the Indian tea sector offers a great deal of room for expansion and innovation. The industry may overcome its difficulties and keep advancing India's economy by concentrating on diversification, technological adoption, and sustainability.

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