Common Pests and Pesticides Used in Tea in Nepal

pramod Koirala, Dambar B. Khadka ,Santosh Dhakal ,Jiwan Prava Lama
Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, Babarmahal, Kathmandu, Nepal

Abstract The study is conduct to asses the common pests and pesticides uses in tea in Nepal. In Nepal, tea is consumed daily at almost every household. The study result revealed that during tea cultivation twenty five types of pesticides is applied. Contamination of pesticides in commonly used tea is an important unrecognized risk to public health and can have long term health implications. Even in small doses, continuous consumption can lead to many adverse health problems. Tea is one of the most potential exportable agriproducts after Nepal's accession to WTO.Still, some of the pesticides applied in tea are prohibited and restricted pesticides in tea. Organic farming, promoting IPM approach, application of quality management system and adequate communication among stakeholders and modern tea pesticides residues analysis are some of the major approaches for assessing safety in tea cultivation and tea business. This article presents the existing practices of pesticides application in tea in Nepal.

Key words: Tea, pest, Pesticide, Residue, Safety, Nepal

Introduction The origin of tea as a popular wonder drink is steeped in legends. In 17th century, tea begins to occupy the right place as a popular drink in china (Jhowar, 2002). Lu yu published first tea classic, contain the detail of cultivation and preparation of tea in china in 780 (Hill, 1998) and different types of green, black, and Oolong tea is made their first appearance of Ming dynasty during 1368-1644. In early 8th century green tea was transferred to Japan for medicinal use (Chu Juneja, 1997). The tea drinking habit gradually spread along the trade routes of Asia and was introduced to Europe by Dutch traders in 17th century. In Nepal, tea cultivation was started in 1863 AD. Late Gajaraj Singh Thapa initiated plantation of tea in Ilam district (Ghimire, 1997). At present tea has been extended to other districts where tea cultivation is made at commercial scale (Tea

and Coffee news 2000). In Nepal, a total of 16012 hectare of land is occupied with tea and the current production of tea is 13043 MT. (Statistical Information on Nepalese Agriculture, 2006)

Growths of tea sector in the country have several advantages. It substitutes the import and earns foreign currency, generate employment as it is labor intensive, benefit environment, as it utilizes hilly unproductive land to production of orthodox tea and thus decrease migration rate from hills to terai. Therefore, its growth develops nations' socio-economic status. Nepalese orthodox tea due to its smell, unique taste and its color of the extract is very famous in the international market (Thapa and Shakya, 2006).

During cultivation of tea, many pests attack it. So, tea growers apply several agrochemicals including pesticides. Pesticides being toxic in nature do not differentiate between target and non-target species and threaten the health and well-being of humans and wildlife in every region of the world (Wassemann 1972). These highly stable compounds can last for years and decades before breaking down. They are highly toxic, causing an array of adverse effects, notably death, diseases and birth defects among human and animals. Specific effect can include cancer, allergies and hypersensitivity, damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems, reproductive disorders, and disruption of the immune system (Strecct 1981, Maroni 1990). In Nepal, 319 types of pesticides by trade name (Insecticides-213, Fungicides-71, Herbicides-23, Rodenticides-8, Acaricides-2 and others-2) have been registered for use under Pesticides Act and Rules. Highly persistent types (Chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, aldrin, heptachlor, mirex,toksafen, BHC, Lindane), Phosphamidon and Organo-mercury fungicides are banned in Nepal .Large persistent chemical pesticides have been banned for agriculture and public health from 9th april, 2001 and also hazardous pesticides was phased out by the government from 9th april, 2001.At present, prohibition on the use of highly toxic pesticides in tea are Quinalphos, Ethion, Monocrotophos and Phorate (Palikhe B.R., 2005).

A total of 74 samples were analysed in DFTQC during 1995-2004 for the detection of pesticides in tea. The laboratory analysis result showed that 22 samples (29.7%) were positive to pesticides contamination. Among the pesticides detected samples in tea, 12.5% samples showed presence of BHC (range Tr-1.4 ppm) followed by 8.3 %

malathion (range 0.2-10 ppm), parathion and methyl parathion 2.7 % (range 0.2-2.5 ppm ) and by 1.35 % DDT (0.2 ppm ) (DFTQC Annual Bulletin 1994-2004)

Methodology Three major tea producing districts in the country representing three different agroclimatic zones ( Jhapa, Illam and Panchthar districts ) which account for more than 95% of the total tea production in the country were selected for the survey purpose. The three greatest tea producing VDC were selected for this purpose. In each VDC of the district enlisting of largest tea growers were considered and from a single VDC, ten growers were selected and interviewed for the study purpose. The VDCs selected were Anarmani, Gaurigunj and Garmani in Jhapa district, Panchakanya, Shreeantu and Phikkal in Illam district; and Phidim, Yangam, Ranitar in Panchathar district. Interview with structured questionnaire served as data collection tool. Altogether sixty tea growers were interviewed for this purpose. Results and Discussion The survey results showed that different types of the pesticide are used in tea cultivation to control variety of pest. The use of organophosphate includes quinalphos, ethion, malathion, monochrotophus, propanofus, acefate, dichlorovous, chloropyriphos were found in the tea field to control large verities pest like cater pillar(Latoia sp ,Andraca bipunctata,Andraca bipunctataGracilaria theivora), leaf roller(Gracilaria

theivora,Stringlina glareola,Hamona coffearia), tea mosquito(Heolipeltis febriculosa), aphids(Toxopetra aurantii, Empoasca flavescens), jassids(halopeltis spp.), flush worm(Lasperesia

and other pests. Similarly synthetic insecticides such as alfamethryene, cyper fenpropathrin were also used in tea.

methryene and pyrethroid ester insecticides like

Herbicides such as gramoxone, oxyflurene, glyphosphate and 2, 4 D were generally found to use to control dicot, broad leafs and grass bushes. Fungicides like copper oxychlorides, hexachonazol, carbandazim, mancozep, and copper sulphate were used in tea cultivation to prevent from fungal disease and foliar disease such as red rust (C. paraciticus), black rot(Cephaleuros mycoldea), and blister blight(Corticulum

To control and prevent the different mites problem during tea cultivation,

accaricides such as dicofol, prapargite, sulphur and fenopthrin were used .The survey also revealed that use of prohibited pesticides in tea i.e.**quinalphos, ethion, monocrotophos were still in use. Some of the Pesticide (***dichlorovos) used in tea are under restricted pesticides which should be used under approval of the APPO (Asst. plant Protection Officer).Among these pesticides dichlorovos and monocrotophos are included in highly hazardous group (Ib) of pesticides by WHO. No evidence on application of banned pesticides by government of Nepal was seen in tea cultivation practice in Nepal. details of the survey results were compiled on the Table 2 and Table 3. The

Table 2: Common insects and pests in tea
Common name of pests INSECTS Thrips Andraca bipuntata Scirtothrips dorsalis Hallothrips andressi H tenipennis Latoia sp Andraca bipunctata Andraca bipunctata Gracilaria theivora Stringlina glareola Hamona coffearia Biston suppressaria Heolipeltis febriculosa Toxopetra aurantii Empoasca flavescens Helopeltis spp Lasperesia bipunctata Lasperesia bipunctata Corticulum invisum Cephaleuros mycoldea C. paraciticus Tetranychus biocuatus Scientific name

Slug caterpillars Bunch caterpillars Caterpillar Leaf roller

Looper Tea mosquito Aphid Jassids Halopeltis Flushworm FUNGUS Blister blight Black rot Red rust MITES Pink ,purple and red mites

A theae Acerina gosspii Oligonychus coffeae

Table: 3 Pesticides applied to tea cultivation S. No.

Common Formulati Frequency Types of Trade pesticides Name of name of the on used /Group pesticide Pesticides
Thiodane Endosulfan Chlorinated Acaricides, Cychlodien e Insecticides Synthetic parathroids Organopho sphate acaricides, Quinoxalli ne organothio phosphate insecticides Organopho sphate acaricides, Aliphatic Organothio phosphate insecticides Organopho sphates 2

Month Sensitive pests

January , Februar y April, Septem ber March, Aug,


Farsa,Ge m Flash , kinalaux

Alphamethryen e **Quinal phos


Green Fly ,Looper ,Red slugs, Thrips Aphids, Flushwormes etc. Tea Mosquito, Thrips, Jassids, Aphids Broad spectrum Insect



Insecticides (including Miticides)






Catterpillar , thrips, Red spider, pink .scarlet and purple mite



**Monocrotoph os


April, Octobe r


Malathion 5% DP





Organopho sphate Acaricides/ Aliphatic Organothio phosphate Organopho sphates Chloronicotinyl Organopho sphates Synthetic Parathroids

2 March, April

Systematic ( Green Fly,halopaltis,Thi ps.Looper,Jasids, Caterpillar Tea mosquito

1 or 2 times


Emidagol d, Josh Orthene, Acecap Ripcord


1 or 2 times



1 or 2 times



1 or 2 times

as necessa ry as necessa ry as necessa ry as necessa

Thrips,Aphides, worms etc. Termites other insect and

Chewing and Sucking pest Wide pest. range of


Nuvan 76% Durmet


Organopho sphate organophos phate

1 or 2 times



1 or 2 times

ry as necessa ry as necessa ry July Aug March/ April Sep, March

Tea mosquito, Jassids,Fly larvae Mosquitos,fly larvae,Aphids other insect and termites Dicot /Broad leafs, Pre-emergence of Dicot /Broad Leafs Prevent post emergence of weeds( used in Young Tea) Broadleaf weeds

13 14

Gramoxo ne Round up

Gramoxone Glyphosphate

Herbicides Organopho sphorus Herbicides Diphenylet her Herbicides Phenoxy Acetic Herbicide Oxychlorid e Conazol

1 1






2.4 D

2,4 D

1or 2 times

17. 18

Blitox Contaf

Copper oxychlorides Hexachonazol

3 1or 2 times






Benzimida zole Polymeric dithiocarba mate

1 or 2 times

Mancozep Dithane, Mancoplu s,PenncoZ eb Bordeaux

1 or 2 times

as necessa ry Feb,Ap r, June as necessa ry as necessa ry as necessa ry

Red Rust Fungas Infestation Fungus disease and infestation Wide range of Foliage disease


Cupper sulphate

Copper fungicide Bridged diphenyl Other Insecticides Inorganic Pyrethroid Ester

1 or 2 times


24 25



Dicofol18 .5%EC Omite sulphex Dennitol

Dicofol Prapargite Sulfur Fenpropathrin

2 2 1 3

as necessa ry Mar. April Mar, April March MarhMay

Fungus disease and infestation Mite Mites, spider Red spider. And other mites Mites

** Prohibited Pesticides in Tea *** To be sold and use under official recommendation of APPO (Assistant plant protection Officer)

. Black tea is mostly consumed in Nepal. Nepal's specific geographic, agro-climatic and environment friendly agriculture system has favored to capture international market. The major tea trading partner is India where more than 1100 tons of tea was exported last year

whereas 97 tons of was exported to third countries and the local consumption is 25 ton. All together 7154 no of small farmers are engaged in tea cultivation. There is growing international and domestic market of tea that is why average growth rate of tea in the country is 17 percent per annum. In terai, there is the production of black tea where as in the hilly areas (like Illam and Panchthar districts) orthodox tea is produced and most of orthodox tea has its international market.

In Nepal, tea industry purchase green tea leaves as a raw material from the tea growers and process it. Very few have their own tea garden that is insufficient to fulfill the plant capacity which makes them to additional collection from other growers. The technology of cultivation of tea in the country transferred from Darjeeling and Assam, India. Mostly tea technician working in this industry has been trained in India. Due to the suggestion of Indian technicians and pesticide dealers with open Indian boarder there is uncontrolled use of pesticides in tea during its cultivation.

Tea cultivation and processing Industry in Nepal Currently, in Nepal 134 tea states and tea gardens were recorded and among them 89 were already registered at NTCDB to the year 2006. Tea industries in Nepal mainly falls into three categories i.e. the industries which only process tea, tea industries having tea garden as well as processing and tea packaging industries concerned to tea export and import. There are 13 industries in first categories out of them 6 are registered on NTCDB, 28 in second categories out of them 18 are registered and 20 are in third categories registered to NTCDB. The tea states still remain to register to NTCDB accounts for fourty-six. Among the registered tea states and gardens 57 are situated on Jhapa district, 10 tea states are in Illam, 5 are on Dhankuta and 17 in other districts of Nepal. The total land used for tea plantation occupy 16012 hectare and total production is more than 13.68 million kg. The land used for orthodox tea production comprises 7036 hectare and 8976 hectare for CTC tea plantation (NTCDB, 2006). The major CTC tea plantation area represent mainly Jhapa district and for orthodox tea plantation and

production area in Nepal are hilly district like Illam, Terhathum, Dhankuta and it is

expanding to other hilly area particularly in Sindhupalchowk and Nuwakot. Sindhupalchwok, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Sankhuwasabha, Bhojpur, Gorkha, Kaski and Solokhumbu where the tea plantation was recently started but not growth progressively due to lack of financial adequacy and effective policy implementation for the small producers, tea cultivation has not been very popular at the farmer's level. (Thapa Ajit N.S., 2005)
Table 1: The major tea state situated in Jhapa, Illam, and Panchthar
Total Area of area in Plantation Type hectare in hactare of Tea Amount of Tea process


Name and Address Jhapa
Kandangwa Tea Garden and Farming

1 P. Ltd. Kumarkhod, Jhapa
H&S Hangchan Tea State

20.32 61.00 265.00 246.54 234.35 29.12

16.26 41.00 254.00 216.74 216.74 101.60



2 P. Ltd., Haldibari Jhapa
Ram Kumars & Sons Tea



3 state ,Jhapa
MS Giri Bandhu Tea state



4 Pvt, Ltd. Buttabarri , Jhapa
Budhakaran and Sons


365810 300000kg

5 Tea State, Bhadrapur, Jhapa
Coperatives State


6 Pvt. Ltd,Bhadrapur ,Jhapa
Danfe Tea Processing


*Na 55000kg

7 co. Pvt. Ltd. Chandragadhi, Jhapa Illam
Sankhejung Hill Range Tea processing

8 Industry Pvt. Ltd , Snkhejung-3 ,Illam
Shree Maha Baharat

17.87 150.00 30.54 9.72 203.60 21.12 52.43

15.27 100.00 20.36 9.16 76.35 15.27 20.36

Orthodox Orthodox CTC and Orthodox orthodox orthodox orthodox CTC and Orthodox

*Na *Na *Na

9 Tea State,Phakphok-1, Ilam
Punam Chiring Leptcha

10 Tea State, Kanyam-2, Ilam
Dhana Hill Tea state

11 Pvt. Ltd. sakhejung ,Illam
Mist Valley Tea state 12 Jitpur-4, Illam Mangmalwng Tea State , 13 Banjho-5, Ilalm Puwaamai Tea GardenInd,

100000kg 25000kg

14 Mangalabare-4, Illam

Shree Deurali Tea State

15 Pvt. Ltd, Sarnguwa-5, Illam Panchthar
Pathivara Tea State,



CTC and Orthodox


16 Panchathar
Kanchanjangha Tea State

152.70 76.35


Orthodox Orthodox, Green Tea


17 Pvt. Ltd., Phiddim, Panchthar


20000 kg 10000kg

Source: NTCDB 2002 National Tea & Coffee Development Board. "Tea 'A' Tea' A souvenir on the Fifth National Tea day

Ropani and Bigha is converted into hectare as 1 Ropani = 0.0509 hectare, 1 Bigha= 0.6773 hectare
*Na-not available

Export and Import scenario of Tea The total tea production in the year 2005/06 is 13.68 million kg, of which orthodox tea production covers more than 1.65 million kg and CTC tea covers 12.03 million kg. Among them more than 95 % orthodox tea was exported while the CTC tea market is limited to domestic consumption only. The tea consumption rate is 0.35 kg per person per year in Nepal (NTCDB 2006). The Nepalese tea export has increased from the year from 2000 to 2005 but in 2006 it was decreased by 80.67 % in the comparison of last year. The international market for Nepal CTC tea is limited to India and Pakistan only while The international demand to Nepal Orthodox Tea expand to Japan, Germany, US and even to European nation due to its health benefits and good quality. On other hand continuous efforts of private sector engaged to promote Nepalese tea in international market particularly in Europe, Japan and boost up the cultivators and processor to acquire organic certification. Again the introduced tea policy in 2000 is expected to encourage the tea industry in Nepal (AEC/ FNCCI, 2004). Table : Tea plantation, total production and export status of Nepalese tea
Year 2000/1 2001/2 2002/3 2003/4 2004/5 2005/6 Plantation area Tot Production Export in in hectare in metric ton metric ton 1197 6638.08 69.5 12346 7518.58 79.6 12643 8198.00 193 15012 11651.20 984 15900 12606.08 4316 16012 13688.24 834

source: NTCDB 2006

Conclusion Tea is a one of the major cash crops in Nepal. As Nepal orthodox tea has an increasing demand by international market but it in the international market tea should be safe to its domestic as well as to the international consumer. The Nepalese tea export is reduced in current year due to pesticide residue and other inorganic residue that comes either from agricultural practices such as use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Nepalese tea will not able to utilize opportunity of WTO membership if it contains banned and prohibited pesticides. Plant protection Directorate is being responsible for implementing pesticide act in the country. Food law is silent in pesticide MRLs in tea. There is no sophisticated laboratory in the country capable of detecting different pesticides. DFTQC laboratory facility permits the estimation of DDT, BHC, Malathion and Parathion only and is not sufficient for analyzing other pesticides. Stakeholders for the promotion of tea sector in Nepal includes, Plant Protection Directorate, Nepal Agriculture Research Council, Tea Coffee Development Board, Tea association, Farmers association and should unite together for advocacy campaign for pesticide law enforcement, discourage the use of chemical pesticides and the promotion of alternative approach such as IPM, organic farming and the use of bio-pesticides. So, the strict quality control measures such as HACCP implementation from farm to fork, use of organic fertilizers, promotion of the IPM and use of the safe and bio pesticides are essential. This will help to facilitate tea trade in the international market and protection of consumers’ health in the country.

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