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International Tea Day:Tea world’s oldest beverages,most consumed drink

By Oluwaseun Sonde

In recognition of long history, deep cultural and economic significance of tea around the world, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 May as International Tea Day, on the recommendations of India. However, this day is celebrated on December 15 every year. The proposal was made by India at the International Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Intergovernmental Group meeting held in Milan years ago

History: The origins of tea stretch back more than 5000 years, but its contributions to health, culture and socioeconomic development are still as relevant today. Tea is currently grown in more than 35 countries, and supports over 13 million people, including smallholder farmers and their households, who depend on the tea sector for their livelihoods.

Tea production and processing are a main source of livelihoods for millions of families, particularly in developing countries. The celebration promotes the sustainable production, consumption and trade of tea, and offers an opportunity for actors at global, regional and national levels to ensure that the tea sector continues to play a role in reducing extreme poverty, fighting hunger and safeguarding natural resources.

Important: The United Nations General Assembly also recognized the tea’s medicinal properties as well as cultural importance.The season of quality tea production starts in May only in most of the tea producing countries. According to the UN, as International Tea Day will help to boost its production and consumption. It will also help in fighting hunger and poverty in rural areas.

International Tea Day is an opportunity to celebrate the cultural heritage, health benefits and economic importance of tea, while working to make its production sustainable “from field to cup” ensuring its benefits for people, cultures and the environment continue for generations.The first observance of the International Tea Day will be celebrated in a virtual event that will bring together the world’s top tea exporting and importing countries as well as major producing countries where tea cultivation is an important source of revenues.

Benefits: Tea production and processing represent a source of livelihoods for millions of families, including millions in least developed countries. Tea export earnings help to finance food import bills, supporting the economies of major tea-producing countries. Tea cultivation provides employment and income to millions of smallholder growers, who are supplementing or even replacing production of larger tea estates in many countries.

Conclusion: Tea being one of the world’s oldest beverages, and the most consumed drink in the world while it is available in many varieties, which differ according to the applied oxidation and fermentation technique.

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