Alipurduar: Majherdabri Tea Garden adopts herbal pesticides
Alipurduar: The Majherdabri Tea Garden in Alipurduar has adopted an innovative, cost-effective method to eliminate chemical pesticides by embracing a completely herbal alternative. Over the past six months, the garden has reaped significant benefits from this herbal pesticide. This eco-friendly approach not only rids the tea of harmful toxins but also slashes operational costs to 50 per cent.
The process of creating the organic pesticide involves boiling garlic, ginger, green chillies, Vasaka, Giant calotrope and other herbs in separate pots of water for hours. After cooling and extracting the juice from each pot, the liquids are combined and poured into a drum. This herbal insecticide is then mixed with water at a ratio of one liter per one hundred liters and sprayed onto the tea plants using a machine.
This application is repeated every 15 days, with additional spraying every seven days if necessary. The tea garden authorities claim a successful elimination of pests harmful to tea through this method.
Chinmay Dhar, the garden manager, claims that the garden has practically eliminated the use of chemical pesticides for the last six months. He explains: “Previously, we faced issues with pests and diseases, leading to the use of chemical pesticides. This not only incurred significant expenses but also required constant monitoring of tea quality. With the adoption of organic pesticides, we feel secure on all fronts. The tea tree insect infestation has drastically reduced in the last six months, leading to substantial cost savings.
Additionally, we use the vermicompost method, creating fertiliser with earthworms, cow dung, and soil. Our goal is to eliminate reliance on chemical pesticides and fertilisers in the future.”
Last year, Taiwan and Iran returned exported Indian tea, citing excessive pesticide use. Very recently following FSSAI guidelines, the Central Tea Board banned 20 chemicals and pesticides in tea plantations.