While the high hills and normally abundant rainfall in northeastern Assam state create an ideal environment for the region's distinctive tea, scientists have noted a 20% decrease in rainfall and a full one degree temperature rise over the past 60 years.
According to the Tea Board of India, tea yields have also decreased, from 512,000 tons in 2007 to just 445,000 in 2009. Furthermore, these decreases have occurred despite the addition of new areas for planting as well as entirely new tea gardens.
Dr. Mridul Hazarika, director of Tocklai Tea Research, the world's oldest tea research station, stated, “This is an indication of the seriousness of the threat.”
Dr. Hazarika, Tocklai Tea Research, Tea Board of India, and growers, we appreciate this alert to the disturbing changes experienced by Assam growers. May your insightful information help bring developments that assist the region while governments and individuals alike act urgently to reverse climate change.
Addressing the issue of unpredictable weather conditions and their effect on harvests during a May 2009 videoconference in Togo, Supreme Master Ching Hai highlighted the most sustainable practice needed to ensure the restoration of environmental stability.