International Journal of Applied Research
Vol. 4, Issue 4, Part C (2018)
Studies on impact of mechanical harvesting of tea (Camellia) in South India
R Parthibaraj Rajendran and R Victor J Ilango
South Indian tea industry is facing severe crisis of acute shortage of work force especially for harvesting, along with steep increase in worker wages and agro inputs. Mechanization of harvesting is compulsory to harvest the crop in time with the available workers. The recommended schedule of harvesting in South India is six months of hand plucking and six months of shear harvesting. When the existing practices are extended to nine and twelve month’s period both in shear and machine harvesting schedule and it’s leading the adverse impacts on yield and yield components. A significant crop loss of 2092 kg made tea/ha has observed during the study period. In seedling tea field, total crop loss was increased up to 446 kg made tea/ha under mechanical harvesting when compared to shear harvesting. Between the Clonal and ‘Assam’ seedlings, loss in crop was more in the clonal field due to motorized harvesting.