Kolkata: Acute shortage of Muriate of Potash in tea gardens in Assam has affected the overall manuring programmes, posing a serious threat to the production in both the Brahmaputra and Barak valleys, the Indian Tea Association said here Tuesday.
Non-availability of MoP was reported to be hitting the overall manuring programmes which had to be followed in tea plantations. Repeated reference to India Potash Ltd (IPL), the sole canalised agency for MoP and bulk mover of the product, did not yield any result, it said.
The organised tea plantations in Assam, it said, had not received any MoP supply during the current Rabi season (September 2007 to March 2008). For this period, the total MoP requirement of the Assam tea industry was estimated to be around 20,000 tonnes.
“Now that the tea season has come to an end and tea estates are undertaking soil preparation and maintenance of bushes in preparation of the new season, the MoP requirement has assumed critical importance,” the Association said.
MoP not only helps plants to overcome certain fungal infections, but the MoP was required to help plants conserve moisture under drought conditions.
Meanwhile, IPL said the ‘no stock’ position in Assam was due to non-import of MoP because of adverse global impact on the product and inadequate coverage of transportation cost to the North-East through Freight Reimbursement Department.