The tea industry is also India's second-largest employer with over 3.5 million workers employed in over 1,500 tea-growing estates The country registered a record tea production this year despite lower output in the South. Industry sources point out that production rose to a record of about 1,165 mkg this year. The country's overall production has increased by 6.18 per cent over last year. In the eight months from January to August 2013 , India has produced 704.87 mkg against 663.85 mkg in the same months of 2012. Production would have been higher had it not been for a 5.41 per cent fall in the South. The region's production fell by 8.39 mkg to 146.81 mkg.
All the States here have posted a lower output in 2013. While Tamil Nadu's production declined by 5.38 mkg to 106.94 mkg, Kerala's fell by 2.72 mkg to 36.55 mkg. North India output rose by 49.41 mkg, or 9.71 per cent, to 558.06 mkg. Assam continued to top India's production table at 359.29 mkg (up 14.84 mkg). West Bengal produced 184.51 mkg (up 30.44 mkg). There has been a significant rise in Darjeeling production to reach 22.07 m kg from a mere 6 mkg last year.