TRA Activities

  • R&D in all aspects of tea culture and manufacture
  • Transfer of technologies through its advisory network
  • Manufacture advisory service for total factory solution
  • Training courses
  • Service functions

    • Soil testing
    • Water testing
    • Agrochemical testing
    • Manure testing
    • ISO/BIS ring test
    • Biochemical assessment of tea quality
    • Tea tasting
  • Publications

Research & Development

Research priorities are on the needs of the industry as well as futuristic challenges. The multidisciplinary R&D activities at Tocklai have been categorised into five groups, viz, Production, Plant improvement, Plant Protection, Quality and Environment & Ecology. In addition, there are externally funded and collaborative project.

The Externally Funded Projects:

Funding Agency Name of the Project
Tea Board (9th Plan)
  • Bush Architechture
  • Studies on Heavy metals
  • Tea Germplasm
National Tea Research Foundation (NTRF)
  • Endogenous growth hormones
  • Volatile Flavour components of Darjeeling teas
Sulphate of Potash Information Board (SOPIB), USA
  • Comparative efficacy of Sulphate and Muriate of potash.
Tea Board (10th plan)
  • Net working of advisory centers
  • Establishment of Quality testing laboratories
  • Catchment wise integrated drainage system
  • Product diversification & value added items
  • Soil organic matter on productivity
FAO
  • Organic tea

The Collaborative Projects:

Collaborative Institutions Name of the project
CSIR
  • NIMITLI Project
DBT-Tea Board
  • Biotechnological tools
DTRC
  • Volatile Flavour constituents of Darjeeling teas
CEERI, Pillani
  • Electronic monitoring and control of fermentation
MIT, ER&DCI, Kolkata
CEERI, Pillani
CMERI, Durgapur
  • Tea Automation Project
  • Fluffing in withering trough
  • Rated Feed unit (rotorvane)
  • New leaf macerating machine (Alternative to CTC)
  • Sharpening of CTC rollers in pairs
  • Microwave drying of tea

Two high yielding quality TV series clones, P463 and P492, one of them having mild aroma in Jorhat condition are due for release after commercial evaluation. Two draught tolerant garden clones for plains and six flavoury high yielding clones for Darjeeling hills are under commercial evaluation prior to release. A large number of polyploids have been produced for commercial exploitation. Biotechnological approach has so far contributed in standardisation of tissue culture technique, development of haploids and rapid clonal multiplication. Initial success have been achieved in protoplast culture. Ideal shade plants of Albizzia sinensis and A. odoratissima have been selected and their progeny plants are assessed to release as varieties. TRAs recommendations on ratios, source and application methods have already resulted in higher yields. The importance of organic matter and integrated nutrient management has been emphasised. Soil fertility management in organic tea production is also being pursued. Catchment planning of estate level is being practised to tackle drainage problem. Valuable findings have been made on harvest index, diurnal changes in dry matter accumulation, stimulation of vegetative growth by growth promoting substances and benefits of mechanical plucking during peak cropping period and rejuvenation and consolidation for substantial increase in productivity. Significant studies have also been made in the areas of biological control and integrated management of pest and diseases. New and safer chemical for termite control have been recommended. Generation of data on heavy metals in tea is in progress for providing a basis for fixing permissible limits. The intricacies of chemistry of black tea and its relation to tea quality have been elucidated in trying to understand the biochemical reactions and enzymes associated with synthesis of colour, flavour and aroma components during processing. Thrust is also on modification of tea machineries and towards automation in factories. Studies are also in progress with the recently acquired Environmentally Controlled Manufacturing (ECM) Unit.

Transfer of Technology

The Advisory Department with its extension network throughout the tea districts of South Bank, North Bank, Upper Assam, Cachar, Tripura, Dooars (Nagrakata Sub-Station). Terai and Darjeeling deals with the transfer of technology at field levels. The results of R&D have been made more effective and meaningful through this network of advisory centres by effective dissemination technological know-how.

Service Functions

The service functions of Tocklai include soil testing for formulating fertilizer schedules and determining suitability for nursery, replanting or extension planting, water tests for ascertaining suitability for use in tea manufacture, testing of a variety of agro chemicals and other materials used in growing of tea such as pesticides, plant growth regulators, agricultural equipments and identifications of plants. Tocklai also provides planting materials and appropriate package of practices for growing and processing of tea.

Publications

  • Tea Encyclopedia
  • Memoranda
  • Advisory Bulletins
  • Special Bulletins
  • Occasional Scientific Papers
  • Biennial journal Two and a Bud
  • Annual Scientific Reports