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Anders Bekeken

100 Places To Remember: Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka

Geschreven op 30-1-2010 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Natuur Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

100places to rememberA Quality Brand Supporting 700,000 People. Tea originated in China, where it has been drunk for several thousand years. According to legend, a Chinese emperor discovered the beverage in 2,737 BC when some tea-leaves accidentally blew into a pot of boiling water.

Tea became popular in Europe in the 1600s, but commercial cultivation only commenced when British colonists established tea plantations in India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in the 1800s.

The first tea estate was established in Ceylon in 1840. Today, Sri Lanka is the third largest tea-producing country in the world and the trademark Pure Ceylon Tea Packed in Sri Lanka is recognised everywhere as a sign of quality. Tea is the countrys main net foreign exchange earner. More than 700,000 workers and their families are dependent on the tea industry, which is composed of large, state-owned but privately managed plantations operated on a profit-sharing basis and of many private smallholders. The latter own 44% of the plantations yet account for 58% of the annual production of 300 million kilograms of black tea.

Most Sri Lankan tea is grown on the hillsides of the central and southern highlands, at altitudes of between 760 metres and more than 1,800 metres. The highlands of Sri Lanka are perfectly suited for growing tea, which requires an even distribution of rainfall throughout the year, temperatures of 18°C to 25°C and a sunny climate.

Global warming could wreak havoc on tea production over the next 60 years. Higher temperatures and drier weather are very likely to create droughts that will reduce the yield and eventually damage many of the plants. Heavy periodic rainfall will cause soil erosion and landslides on the steep hillsides and growth conditions will deteriorate as heavy cloud cover blocks the sunlight.

Smallholders will be the worst hit. They do not own enough land or possess sufficient financial muscle to take adequate measures to withstand the consequences of global warming.

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