Turkey: A new era begins in tea agriculture after 83 years

In Turkey, a new era begins in tea agriculture, which started to be produced in 1938 and spread to 830 thousand decares. Within the scope of the “Rehabilitation of Tea Gardens” project, work has been initiated to renew qualified saplings and increase the quality and yield in tea gardens, which have completed their economic life after 83 years.

Tea production in Turkey started for the first time in Rize in 1938 with the purchase of products. With the rapidly spreading production, the agricultural areas reached 830 thousand decares.

Approximately 1 million 300 thousand tons of fresh tea was produced annually in Rize, Trabzon, Giresun and Artvin provinces in the region, and an average of 250 thousand tons of dry tea was started to be produced. Work has been initiated for the renewal of tea gardens, which have completed their life after 83 years in tea agriculture.


The “Rehabilitation of Tea Gardens” project was prepared in cooperation with the General Directorate of Plant Production of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Caykur and Recep Tayyip Erdogan University (RTEU).

With the project, which will be implemented with the protocol signed between the relevant institutions that Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli participated in Ankara the previous day, efficiency and quality will be increased and sustainability will be ensured. With the project, tea gardens that have completed their economic life will also be renewed with qualified tea saplings.


Caykur General Manager Yusuf Ziya Alim stated that they are working on the renewal of tea fields due to aging and decreasing yield and that the saplings that will be grown by cutting will be distributed to the volunteer producers first.

Alim said, “As the age of the teapots leads to a decrease in productivity and quality deterioration, the quality and efficiency will increase with the renewal of the teapots. We would like to remind our producers that the yield will not be much by giving too much fertilizer to tea gardens. 60 -70 kilograms of fertilizer per decare is enough. We will look at the soil so that tea grows and we have vegetables. The biggest reason for the decrease in the yield in the garden in recent years is the soil becoming petrified. The reason for this is to give excessive fertilizer and not aerate the soil at all. Our teapots have been planted by our grandfathers to this day. We give manure, collect tea, we constantly take it like a milked cow, but we do not take care of it at all. We need to take care of the soil and itself for plants to heal.”


Tea producer Fatma Mavi stated that it would be very beneficial to renew tea plants after years and said, “Soils have almost become concrete. Previously, when the tea plant was cut, the soil was dug and aerated. Now the majority have stopped digging in the tea gardens. The soil has hardened, the water almost does not penetrate the soil, the yield has decreased. If the tea plants are renewed in our gardens, our plants will become younger and the soil will soften by digging.”

Nur Mavi said, “The oldest of my tea plant is 50 years old. Even though we pruned it, it was never uprooted. When we prune, we dig the soil. So that it can take the water well and pull the fertilizer well. In the old gardens, there is a loss of yield every year, and the yield and quality will come back when the gardens are renewed.”


Approximately 1 million 300 thousand tons of products are produced annually in the wet tea agriculture, which is made by 1 million producer families on an area of approximately 830 thousand decares in the provinces of Rize, Artvin, Trabzon and Giresun in the Eastern Black Sea.

The fresh tea produced is processed in factories, 151 of which are owned by the private sector, 46 of which are owned by Caykur, and an average of 230 to 250 thousand tons of dry tea is obtained annually.

According to the results of the ‘World Tea Report’ prepared by the World Tea Committee, Turkey ranks first with 3.5 kilograms in the list of countries that consume the most tea per person per year.

In world tea production, China ranks first with 2 million 270 thousand tons, India with 1 million 210 thousand tons, Kenya third with 475 thousand tons, Sri Lanka fourth with 329 thousand tons and Turkey fifth with 250 thousand tons.

Source: NTV / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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