CABI scientists have revealed that India’s tea – which accounts for around 27 percent of the world’s tea production – could be protected from devastating crop pests with more environmentally friendly and sustainable biological controls rather than an over reliance on pesticides.
India is the second largest producer and exporter of tea in the world and it can be a powerful engine for development. However, tea crops here suffer from a range of pests and diseases. Pesticides are the main management solution but this results in increased production costs and potential risks to human health. So, we undertook a major scientific research study to evaluate the use of ecological pest and disease management strategies. The project aimed to establish proof of concept for the judicious use of inputs in the tea ecosystem and develop a toolkit of non-chemical pest management practices which can encourage the sustainable production of tea.