The third shoot harvest period continues in the production of fresh tea produced by 1 million producer families in an area of 830 thousand decares in the provinces of Rize, Trabzon, Artvin and Giresun in the Eastern Black Sea Region. In tea agriculture, which is affected by drought due to global climate change, high temperatures and decrease in rainfall rates lead to yield loss. It is observed that the decrease in tea yield has continued in the last 5 years due to drought, incorrect harvest and incomplete fertilization. While over 860 thousand tons of fresh tea was purchased in Rize, Artvin, Trabzon and Giresun in 2021, it decreased to approximately 583 thousand tons last year, while in the new period when harvest and purchases continued, producers delivered approximately 520 thousand tons of fresh tea.
Yield dropped by 20 percent
Rize Commodity Exchange President Mehmet Erdoğan stated that the decline in yield will continue. Recommending to create tea gardens suitable for warming weather conditions, Erdoğan said:
Today we are trying to identify the deficiencies. When we look back 5 years; There is a decrease between 18 percent and 20 percent in terms of yield in tea agriculture. We experienced this decline last year as well. Maybe we will experience this decline a little more this year. When we come to the reasons for this, there were increases in raw material prices due to the pandemic. In this case, the price of fertilizer coming here and entering the field caused an increase. These situations made it difficult for citizens to access fertilizer.
Miscollection and climate change
Improper harvest and global warming in tea agriculture cause yield loss. During this period, many workers from abroad came to work in the fields. These workers damaged the field because they did not know how to collect tea. There are no green leaves left in the field that should remain on the 2nd and 3rd shoots. These are errors made due to collection. In addition, we started to see the effects of weather conditions and global warming in the region. We experienced the instability of rains and temperatures in the region. I have rarely seen temperatures of 37 degrees in Rize in the past, but this summer we saw temperatures of 37 degrees for about 20 days in a row. Our tea plant is not ready for this. Long periods without rain and high temperatures caused the plant to protect itself rather than produce crops.