Toward the Implementation of Climate-Resilient Tea Systems: Agroecological, Physiological, and Molecular Innovations



Climate change is one of the most pressing issues for tea systems with major implications for farmer livelihoods. Changes in climate variables outside of the thresholds for tea production can impact both tea quality and productivity. It is thus critical to implement strategies for minimizing the forecasted trajectory of climate change and its impacts on tea systems, the environment, and society. Tea systems, as other agricultural systems, face two major challenges in the context of climate change. The first climate challenge is the mitigation challenge to reduce the negative impacts of tea systems throughout the entire value chain (from farm to cup to waste) that contribute to climate change. The second climate challenge for tea systems is the adaptation challenge which involves overcoming the effects of climate change through enhancing the resilience of tea systems. This chapter provides an overview of agricultural, physiological, and molecular innovations at the production level toward the development of climate-resilient tea systems. In addition, this chapter highlights priority areas for research and development including the cost-effectiveness, replicability, and adaptability of various good agricultural practices (GAPs) for climate mitigation and adaptation. Some climate adaptation innovations in the tea system also serve as climate mitigation strategies such as tea agroforestry and maintaining trees in tea farms; such practices should be further examined and promoted for replicability. Ultimately, multi-sectoral collaboration between governments, industry, farmers, and researchers is called for to tackle the issue of climate change in tea systems including removing barriers for the adoption of climate innovations. It is expected that such multi-sectoral collaboration will allow us to more effectively support farmer livelihoods and well-being while meeting consumer demand and maintaining stable tea systems.


Climate adaptation Climate mitigation Agroecology Good agricultural practices (GAPs) Agricultural diversification Sustainability 



Funding support for this research was supported by the US National Science Foundation Grants: NSF CNH BCS-1313775 and NSF RII Track-2 FEC OIA 1632810.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food and Health Lab, Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems ProgramMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA

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