Tea farmers/growers form India claims that climate change is blamed for decline in production and as well as the flavor they brew.
Assam, India's leading producer of Tea produces approx 55% of the India's total tea crop. Overall, India accounts for 31% of global tea production.
The area in northern India is the source of some of the finest black and British-style teas. Assam teas are notable for their heartiness, strength and body, and are often sold as "breakfast" teas.
Assam produced 564,000 tons of tea in 2007, slipping to 487,000 tons in 2009. The 2010 crop was estimated to be about 460,000 tons, said Dhiraj Kakaty, who heads the Assam Branch Indian Tea Association, an umbrella group of some 400 tea plantations.
Mridul Hazarika, director of the Tea Research Association, one of the world's largest tea research centers, blames climate change for the dropping numbers.
He said temperatures have risen two degrees in Assam the past eight decades. "We feel this is leading to a shortfall in production," he said Friday.
Scientists at the Tea Research Association are analyzing temperature statistics to determine links between temperature rise, consequent fluctuations in rainfall and their effect on tea yields.
Now the Tea growers want the government to fund scientific studies to examine the flavor fallout from climate change.
Rising temperatures are also affecting other crops. Wheat farmers in northern India report - and scientists confirm - that warmer temperatures in recent years have cut sharply into their grain yield, as the crop matures too quickly.
- AP Inputs