2020 YEAR TEA SEASON BEGINS…
Covid-19 epidemic, which affects the whole world and our country, will directly have a bearing on fresh tea harvesting and dry tea production, like all areas of our country’s agriculture and food industry. The fresh tea season is delayed this year due to the climatic conditions and is officially launched on May 19, 2020.
The most realistic solution to the fact that approximately 40 thousand local and foreign agricultural workers who work in the tea harvest every year due to the epidemic cannot come to harvest this year, despite the fact that imece (collective working) culture is widespread, will not be sufficient for the current harvest. In this situation the producers coming from outside to the region should be accepted in a controlled way by obtaining a travel permit or to be created a minimum wage employment environment in the region for a minimum of 6 months.
The majority of 100,000 producers are expected to come to the region as from 20 May 2020, after different decisions taken by the 4 Provincial Governorships and the uncertainty of the controlled travel permits.
By taking the necessary health measures, the sector should be evaluated in terms of economy and management as well as the continuity of production. Tea cultivation in Turkey create public livelihood living in the eastern Black Sea region and in the early years of the Republic in order to meet the country’s demand for tea has been launched. In terms of the width of tea cultivation area in the world Turkey ranks 7th and 5th in dry tea production.
Today, tea cultivation is carried out by 200 thousand families in an area of 790 thousand hectares in the provinces of Artvin, Rize, Trabzon and Giresun. Tea cultivation; It is a source of livelihood and employment for about 2-2.5 million people outside the region and the region including growing, processing and marketing.
Although the amount of fresh tea production varies depending on the climate conditions, it is between 1.2-1.5 million tons / year. About 230-250 thousand tons of dry tea is produced by processing of fresh tea in 47 enterprises belonging to Çaykur and 150 of them in different capacities at private factories. In Turkey, per capita tea consumption has increased in recent years and according to TÜİK (TURKSTAT) data, it is round about 13-15 kg in fresh tea and 3 kg in dry tea.
Some urgent measures should be taken in order to eliminate the experienced uncertainities and maintain fresh tea harvesting and continuity of dry tea production along with tea fields not to be affected because of negligence in the long term.
As for the current problem, curfew; Çaykur’s announcement of the campaign is late, and for the first time the private sector bought tea before Çaykur and curfews were imposed in 81 provinces during the Feast of Sacrifice. For this reason, tea should be purchased for 2-3 days and then 4 days should not be purchased. Çaykur may have to switch to quota application in a short period of time after the congestion that will result in poor quality due to cardization in tea or after intense purchase after the feast.
As for the current problem of curfew, due to the fact that Çaykur announced the late campaign and for the first time the private sector bought tea before Çaykur, the curfew was imposed in 81 provinces during the Ramadan Feast, it should not be made for 2-3 days and then 4 days should not be purchased. After the congestion due to the intense purchase after the feast, Çaykur may have to switch to the quota application in a short time.
Therefore, tea harvest and factories should be allowed in the provinces of Rize, Trabzon, Artvin and Giresun on 23-26 May 2020 and producers and employees in these provinces should be exempted from the curfew.
We wish to solve the problems of our tea industry, producers and employees of the sector from green tea leaf to brewed tea glass.
We respectfully inform the public…
Baki Remzi Suiçmez…
TMMOB ZMO (Chamber of Agricultural Engineers) Chairman of the Board
(On behalf of the Board of Directors)