GUWAHATI, Nov 12 � The 21st session of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Intergovernmental Group (IGG) on Tea held at Bandung, Indonesia observed that there is a greater need for tea producing countries to adapt to climate change by formulating effective strategies.
The IGG working group on organic farming suggested green farming to avoid the high cost of conversion to organic tea and considering the likelihood of reduced supply of tea in future.
According to Tea Research Association (TRA) secretary Joydeep Phukan, who took part in the three-day session held since November 5, as a member of the Indian delegation, the session also reviewed the global tea market situation. In this regard, it felt that one has to monitor the supply of tea so that over supply situation does not arise.
Argentina, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Turkey presented their market summaries to the session.
The session underscored the need to promote tea consumption in the producing countries and to share the promotional ventures with the non-producing countries too. Besides, it underlined the need for examining demographic behaviours for a better understanding of the tea consumption patterns.
The working group on MRL in tea brew headed by India, China and USA stated in its presentation that since it has produced a policy document on assessing MRLs on tea brew with scientific evidence and the working group brief has been successfully achieved, the group should be wounded up.
All members applauded the work carried out by the MRL working group. Dr Anoop Barooah of TRA Tocklai led the group from India, Phukan said.
The session took note of the situation concerning the small tea growers and shared the household survey details concerning them. The challenges such as price fluctuations, input cost inflation, appropriate climate change adaptation strategies and compliance for the small growers were discussed in the session in detail. It was agreed that more information should be shared among the countries, which have small holder tea farmers, to tackle the challenges.
Apart from the above, Indian delegate Joydeep Phukan suggested that IGG on Tea can collate the different agricultural and manufacturing practices of producing countries to have one common Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for the global tea industry to bring synergy among tea producing countries. This suggestion was later recommended by the FAO IGG Working Group on MRL to the FAO Secretariat.
The session elected Indonesia the chair of the FAO IGG on Tea. Germany and Malawi were elected vice-chairs of the Group.