Climate ravages tea production in Kenya – fr

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Climate ravages tea production in Kenya – fr


Paris (AFP)

Climate change is set to devastate Kenya’s tea production as the world’s largest exporter faces rising temperatures, erratic rainfall and insect infestations, according to an analysis released Monday.

Tea is the most consumed drink in the world after water and the disruption of the supply to the East African nation is expected to have a global impact.

A report from the Christian Aid charity described the various threats Kenya faces for its major black tea crop, as well as the dangers other countries are likely to face as the planet continues to warm.

Citing a peer-reviewed study, the report says the quadruple threat of rising temperatures, erratic rainfall, droughts and new insect infestations is expected to destroy 26.2% of the country’s optimal tea acreage by 2050. .

And climate change is expected to reduce areas with average growing conditions by almost 40 percent over the same period.

“For generations we have carefully cultivated our tea plantations and pride ourselves that the tea we grow here is the best in the world,” said Richard Koskei, a tea farmer from the western highlands of Kenya.

“But climate change is a real threat to us. We can no longer predict the seasons, temperatures are increasing and precipitation is more erratic. “

Karimi Kinoti, head of Christian Aid’s Africa division, said tea was just another example of how people living in countries least responsible for the climate crisis bear the heaviest burden.

“Africans make up 17% of the world’s population, but we only generate 4% of the greenhouse gas emissions that caused the climate crisis,” she said.

“And yet, we are the ones who suffer the most from the impacts of climate change. “

– “The world will watch” –

The report warned that the livelihoods of more than three million people in Kenya’s tea industry would be at risk over the next two decades.

Britain, the largest per capita tea consumer, is expected to hold UN climate talks in Glasgow in November.

Mohamed Adow, director of the climate and energy think tank Power Shift Africa, said the COP26 negotiations presented a vital opportunity for richer nations to provide appropriate support to the poorest who already need to adapt. to climate change.

“As a major historical polluter and creator of the industrial revolution, the UK has played an important role in the climate emergency from which we Kenyans suffer,” he said.

“This year, as host of the G7 and COP26, the UK has a big role to play in addressing it.

“The whole world will be watching, especially Kenyan tea farmers and others on the front lines of the climate crisis,” Adow added.

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