Interactive Socio-Technical Practicum

Investigating the Kangra Valley Tea Industry

Students: Matt Garcia, Emilia Konert, Hannah Robinson, Devang Bacharwar, Rahul Bhujade.
Mentor: Dr. Arti Kashyap

In recent decades, Kangra Valley tea production has declined by 50% predominantly among farms less than a hectare in size. Our goal was to investigate small-scale tea production in this region and to develop suggestions and technical innovations beneficial to small estates. Stakeholders were interviewed and site visits were made to identify industry vulnerabilities. We designed a mechanical harvester to improve efficiency and reduce labor costs, and we recommended policy and marketing strategies to revitalize the Kangra tea market.

Project Outcomes

The approach for tackling problems affecting tea production in Kangra Valley can be broken down into four categories: labor, communication, policy modification, and market creation.

  • Addressing Labor Issues: Prototype Design
  • Communication Improvements
  • Policy Change and Market Creation

Please download executive summary, report and poster for more details