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Application of the Terroir Concept on Traditional Tea Cultivation in Uji Area

  • Fitrio AshardionoEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Climatic changes and extreme temperature fluctuations have been occurring more frequently with evidences of continuous increase in its intensity. Direct effects of these changes are especially felt by the agricultural industries especially those which are utilizing the natural environmental elements, such as the tea cultivation in the Uji Area. As the oldest and most famous green tea producing region in Japan, teas from the Uji Area owes its reputation to the distinct quality characteristics created through the result of adopting traditional agriculture practices that hold a long heritage. Changes in the climatic conditions, especially temperature fluctuations, have directly affected the perceived quality of the harvested tea leaves in the region, caused by temperature variability during the growth of the first flush tea leaves. The problem is further exacerbated by frost events, drought, heavy rain and temperature extremes which have directly affect the yield of the tea production. Based on the analysis of climatic data and tea production statistics, lower mean air temperature can be correlated with low harvest yield. Observations and surveys conducted in the Uji Area have showed that these changes have not only affected the cultivation processes but also indirectly led to social and economic issues within the tea grower community. It is necessary to develop a new cultivation concept which takes account of the natural environmental elements and agriculture practices, such as the terroir concept which is utilized in French wine industry. By capitalizing on this new concept, the Uji Area tea growers would be able to proactively adapt to the ongoing changes, thus ensuring the sustainability of the Uji Area as a well-known tea growing region.

Keywords

Climate change adaptation Uji tea cultivation Terroir concept Traditional agriculture knowledge 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Asia-Japan Research InstituteRitsumeikan UniversityOsakaJapan

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