ifoam'96 ifoam'96
Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
EcoWeb Denmark


Organic Tea Production. P1; 55

Kohlwes, U. & Sauerborn, J.

Tropical Crop Science, Schottstr. 2, 35390 Giessen, Germany

In 1991 the global conventional tea area distributed over 45 countries measured about 2.25 million ha. During the last ten years there was a reduction of approximately 17,000 ha while at the same time land productivity per ha increased. World harvest in 1991 was approximately 2.6 million t of dry leaf versus 1.9 million t in 1982. Main producing countries are India, China, Sri Lanka and Kenya.
In 1984 analysis were carried out and published in the german magazin »natur« showing the amount of pesticide residues in different tea samples. Through the awareness of the public and further investments of private persons the first Tea Estate in Sri Lanka was converted to organic production and certified in 1985. In 1994 world wide approximately 27 Tea Estates were registered to do controlled organic farming. The total production on an area of approximately 5000 ha was 3000 t of »biotea«. The average yield of 0.6 t/ha lies about 50% beneath the average conventional production level.
A study carried out at the Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen in the region of Dooars, West Bengal, NE-India described different problems occurring with the conversion to organic farming: - organic fertilizers are not readily available - proved alternative plant protection measures are missing - high labour input require despecially for: manuring, weeding, alternative plant protection measurements.
In order to solve these difficulties further investigations have to be made regarding:
- the improvement of soil fertility through mulching, greencover crops, trench composting, vermiculture, bioslurry, introduction of microorganisms (e.g. Beijerinckia spp.).
- the development and use ofbotanicals for pest management.
- the identification, introduction and useof natural antagonists.
- the crop management or planting system, establishing biodiversity through shade trees and intercropping - the use of biogas and its impact on saving the natural habitat as well as the useof bioslurry as a fertilizer.
- the improvement of self initiative and self reliance.
The organic cultivation of tea needs to be developed in a sustainable way. The aim is to rely on the agricultural production even under the circumstances of permanent cultivation in an environmentally beneficial way.

Kohlwes, U. (1995): Ökologischer Teeanbau - Moeglichkeiten der Naehrstoffversorgung am Beispiel der Kompostierung in Dooars, NO-Indien (Ecological Tea Production - Possibilities of nutrient supply throughcomposting in Dooars, NE-India), Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Tropical Crop Science, Schottstr. 2, 35390 Giessen, Germany.