Tea production is an important contributor to the economies of Kenya and Malawi. It is widely acknowledged that the quality and quantity of tea production is being affected by changing weather patterns. An understanding of these potential changes is necessary to support climate resilient planning in tea production and supply chains.
The Climate Information for Resilient Tea Production (CI4Tea) project aims to identify key climatic characteristics that influence tea production. The project investigates various adaptation methods to support long-term planning in tea production. Climate model scenarios and analysis will be used to inform adaptation decision-making.
The project evaluates large-scale adaptations such as irrigation, shade trees and crop breeding programmes. Researchers will seek to determine the potential economic costs and projected values to producers. The project team will work with different stakeholders across the tea supply chain to identify low cost and low regret adaptation options.
A key project strategy is the enhancement of existing partnerships with tea sector organisations with a specific focus on women farmers. The project works with the Ethical Tea Partnerships’ Malawi 2020 Tea Revitalisation Programme, the Tea Association of Malawi, Kenya Tea Development Agency, the Tea Research Institute in Kenya and tea producers in both countries. Through consultations with partners and stakeholders, researchers identify key climate metrics and adaptation options at different points of the tea production and supply chain.
The CI4Tea project builds on two existing Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) projects; HyCRISTAL and UMFULA which have developed strong networks and relationships with government in Kenya and Malawi. This work is led by the University of Leeds, UK.
This video showcases the impact of climate change on tea in Malawi and Kenya: