Economic review

China becomes world's largest tea producer

2017-05-19 14:53:00 (Beijing Time)         People's Daily Online

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China has become the world's biggest producer and consumer of tea, said the country's minister of agriculture, Han Changfu, at the opening ceremony of the First China International Tea Expo.

China produced more than 2.4 million tons of tea in 2016, with a cultivated area of 2.87 million hectares, ranking number one in the world. In addition, tea consumption in China has surpassed 2 million tons.

Both tea and its culture originated in China, Han said. Chinese people started cultivating tea more than 5,000 years ago. As a symbol of the ancient Silk Road, tea was also a bond between China and the rest of the world.

China is the only country in the world that produces all six major categories of tea: green tea, black tea, oolong tea, dark tea, white tea and yellow tea. In addition, peripheral industries such as teaware, tea food and tea-related health products are emerging on the market, and tea tourism is also flourishing.

According to the minster, the development of the tea industry is a crucial part of supply-side reform in China's agricultural sector. It is also an important aspect of poverty alleviation and a major task for the development of modern agriculture.

Tea is grown in more than 60 countries worldwide, with a total production of nearly 6 million tons. The tea trade volume has reached 2 million tons, and more than 2 billion people drink tea on a regular basis. Tea has become a pillar industry for many nations, especially developing ones. In addition, tea culture offers a common spirituality for humankind.