Soil Nutritional Status of Tea Plantations in Plains of Sub Himalayan West Bengal, India

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Mainak Mukherjee1, Sourav Chakraborty2, Sahadeb Sarkar2, Sumedha Saha2, Soumya Majumder2, Arindam Ghosh2 and Malay Bhattacharya2*

Tea is the most consumed beverages after water. In Terai and Dooars region of sub Himalayan West Bengal, India, tea plantations are around 150 years. Exploitation of tea garden soil over centuries has led to decline in soil fertility and crop productivity after all initiatives of external inputs. As nutrients play a crucial role in quality and quantity of manufactured tea, the present initiative has been designed to quantify the soil nutrient status of tea growing Terai and Dooars region. 79.62% (Terai) and 84.72% (Dooars) of the soil samples were found to have normal pH. 47.21% (Terai) and 49.3% (Dooars) of soil samples was found to have normal organic carbon. 12.03% and 20.82% of soil from Terai and Dooars showed low total nitrogen. Both the organic carbon and nitrogen in soil are positively correlated. Phosphorus (as P2O5) content of soil is extremely site and depth specific. Almost all samples of the study area showed high potassium (as K2O) content. Monoculture, change in rainfall pattern and inorganic additives have contributed enormous stress to soil but despite of all these odds the overall nutritional richness of these tea growing regions seems to be satisfactory.

Tea plantation and quality control analysis in laboratory

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