India, China to drive global tea demand and production over next decade
New Delhi: India and China will drive global tea production and consumption over the next decade, UN body FAO on Tuesday said while stressing on the need to take urgent measures to tackle adverse impact of climate change.
World black tea output is estimated to increase to 4.4 million tonnes by 2027 from 3.33 million tonnes in 2017, while green tea production is projected to increase to 3.6 million tonnes from 1.77 million tonnes in the said period, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in its latest report.
The annual production of green tea is projected to grow much faster by 7.5 per cent over the next decade when compared with black tea at only 2.2 per cent, it added.
According to the report, global consumption of black tea is estimated to increase to 4.16 million tonnes in 2027 from 3.29 million tonnes in 2017.
"Global tea consumption and production are projected to keep rising over the next decade, driven by robust demand in developing and emerging countries," the FAO said.
This will create new rural income opportunities and improve food security in tea-producing countries, it said.
Black tea production in India, the world's second largest producer, is projected to rise to 1.61 million tonnes in the next decade from 1.26 million tonnes in 2017.
Green tea output in China, the world's largest producer, is estimated to increase to 3.31 million tonnes in 2027 from 1.52 million tonnes in 2017.
On impact of climate change, the UN body warned that "tea production is highly sensitive to changes in growing conditions. Tea can only be produced in narrowly defined agro-ecological conditions and, hence, in a very limited number of countries, many of which will be heavily impacted by climate change."
"Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns, with more floods and droughts, are already affecting yields, tea product quality and prices, lowering incomes and threatening rural livelihoods," it said, adding that these climate changes are expected to intensify, calling for urgent adaptation measures.
In parallel, there is a growing recognition of the need to contribute to climate change mitigation, by reducing carbon emissions from tea production and processing, it suggested.
The FAO further urged tea-producing countries to integrate climate change challenges, both on the adaptation and mitigation front, into their national tea development strategies.
On consumption, the UN body said it has grown rapidly in China, India and other emerging economies, driven by a combination of higher incomes and efforts to diversify production to include speciality items such as herbal teas, fruit fusions and flavoured gourmet teas.
Tea consumption has also benefited from increased awareness about the beverage's anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and weight loss effects. Such health and well-being benefits are seen as the key drivers of future consumption growth, it added.