Assam Current Affairs - 2019
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A rare variety of tea named ‘Golden Butterfly’ from Upper Assam’s Dikom Tea Estate set a new record on as it was auctioned for Rs.75,000 per kg at Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC). It broke the record for highest price fetched by a tea at a public auction for 3rd time in a fortnight.
The exceptionally rare and special tea was sold through J Thomas and Company and was purchased by city- based Assam Tea Traders, one of the oldest tea shops.
Judging Criteria: An exotic tea is judged by its taste, aroma and colour. This ‘Golden Butterfly’ tea is characterised by extremely mellow and sweet caramel flavour.
Guwahati Tea Auction Centre: It is emerging as a centre for showcasing high-priced Assam speciality tea. In the tea sector GTAC has created an image of a place where records are meant to be broken.
In July 2019, GTAC witnessed two big records, when orthodox variety ‘Maijan Golden Tips‘, a hand-rolled and sun dried speciality tea fetched a price of Rs.70,501/kg and another specialty orthodox tea variety, named ‘Manohari Gold’ (from Manohari Gold Estate in Dibrugarh), was sold at Rs.50,000/Kg. GTAC is providing an opportunity to sellers who want to sell their tea at remunerative prices.
About ‘Golden Butterfly’ Tea
Unique: Golden Butterfly is made of tea buds and not tea leaves. It is the bud which lends tea liquor a full-bodies, bright-yellowish colour, unlike usual leaf-based tea from Assam which gives brew a black colour.
Naming: Buds are plucked from bushes in evening, when swarms of butterflies descend on them to rest. Hence, the name Butterfly.
It reflects the meticulous care and attention to crop husbandry in Dikom’s tea plantations. This surreal experience, of walking along rows of tea bushes teeming with butterflies, is out of the world,
Unlike Golden Butterfly, ‘Maijan Golden Tips’ and ‘Manohari Gold’ are made from buds plucked early in morning before sun alters aroma and flavour.
Tags: Agriculture • Assam • Assam Tea Traders • Dikom Tea Estate • Golden Butterfly Tea
Researchers have discovered Dracaena cambodiana, a dragon tree species in Dongka Sarpo area of West Karbi Anglong District in Assam. This is for 1st time that a dragon tree species has been reported from India. This research which added to India’s botanical wealth has been published in Journal of Botanical Research Institute of Texas.
About Dracaena cambodiana
This plant yields dragon’s blood- a bright red resin. Sap of the plant species turns bright red after coming in contact with air. It is an important medicinal plant as well as an ornamental tree. The plant resin is used since ancient times as medicine, varnish, body oil, incense and dye.
Other than dragon’s blood several antifungal and antibacterial compounds, antioxidants, flavonoids, etc., have been extracted from various parts of plant.
Key Highlights of Research
As per the study in India, Dracaena genus belonging to family Asparagaceae is represented by 9 species and 2 varieties in Himalayan region, northeast and Island of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. But Dracaena cambodiana is only true dragon tree species.
Seed Dispersal: Dracaena seeds are usually dispersed by birds. But due to large fruit size, only a few species of birds are able to swallow fruits, thereby limiting scope of its natural conservation.
Quarry Threat: Population size of dragon tree species in Assam is estimated to be less than 50 mature individuals and there is continuing decrease in its area of occupancy and number of mature individuals. This is because habitat of plant is severely fragmented due to open excavation of a stone quarry.
Demand Threat: The dragon’s blood is a precious traditional medicine in China. To meet increasing demand for dragon’s blood the recent overexploitation has resulted in rapid depletion of plant. Therefore, this plant species is already listed in inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants of China.
Need: In view of its medicinal, ornamental and ecological values there is an urgent need for a Conservation programme for Dracaena cambodiana.