A report released today has shown that Africa’s largest tea producer and exporter Kenya will suffer the most from the upcoming wave of rising temperatures, erratic rainfall and insect infestation due to climate change.
After water, tea is the most consumed beverage on the planet, and a disruption in supply from the east African country is expected to have a global effect.
The report by Christian Aid highlights that Kenya’s main black tea crop is under attack It also shows the challenges other countries will face as the world warms.
According to the research, the quadruple threat of rising temperatures, irregular rainfall, droughts, and new insect infestations would kill 26.2 percent of the country’s optimal tea growing areas by 2050, citing a peer-reviewed analysis.
In the same time span, climate change is projected to decrease the areas with medium-quality growing conditions by nearly 40%.
A tea farmer from Kenya’s western highlands Richard Koskei said, “For generations, we have carefully cultivated our tea farms and we are proud that the tea that we grow here is the best in the world. But climate change poses a real threat to us. We cannot predict seasons anymore, temperatures are rising, and rainfall is more erratic.”
Karimi Kinoti, head of Christian Aid’s Africa division use this projection as an example of how people in countries that are least responsible for the climate crisis are bearing the brunt of the burden.
“Africans make up 17 percent of the world’s population but we generate just four percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that have caused the climate crisis,” she said.
“And yet it is we who are suffering the brunt of the impacts of climate change. The world will be watching’ She said.
In the next two decades, the livelihoods of more than three million people employed in Kenya’s tea industry will be jeopardised, the report warns.
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