Naungtaya tea at low prices hurts tea farmers

May 19


THE transaction of tea leaf is slack and prices also drop in the Naungtaya region of Pinlaung Township of the Pa-O Self-Administered Zone of southern Shan State, according to a tealeaf farmer.


“The price of Shwephemoelut tealeaf is K5,200 per viss in maximum and K4,800 per viss in minimum. The sale of Shwephe tealeaf is still slack,” said a tea leaf merchant of Naungtaya Town.


“The price of every product is high and the price of tea leaf is between K3,500 and K4,000 per viss currently. Although the production cost is not high, the labour cost is high. We have to give K600 per viss and K5,000 for daily wage worker. One worker can pluck only seven visses of tealeaf the whole day. The fee is not good and so no one pluck the tealeaf,” said a tealeaf farmer from Hteeyee village.


Four visses of wet tealeaf produce one viss of dried tealeaf and farmers sell them at K5,200 per viss this year and the market price of dried tea leaf is between K3,500 and K4,000.


The prices do not cover labour costs and transport charges for tealeaf farmers and they also face hardships due to high commodity prices. The tealeaf factory in Naungtaya buys the wet tealeaf at K1,000 per viss and now at K800. — Khun Aung (Naungtaya)/GNLM