Showing posts from 2016

Forecasting tea productivity using local weather conditions

Tea plantation in the western province of Rwanda. The global tea market is estimated to be worth about 38.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 and is projected to continue growing at 2.8% annually until 2020 [1]. After coffee, tea is Rwanda's second most valuable export where agriculture accounts for one third of economic output [2]. Tea productivity depends on a various factors such as weather, fertiliser and management practices. Hot dry conditions are generally detrimental for tea productivity and therefore daily rainfall and temperatures are important variables. A recent drought in Rwanda, claimed to be the worst in 60 years, has generated losses of up to 40% for some tea producers. Climate variability is already a concern for the agricultural sector.  Uncertainty about the impact of future climate change and the frequency and severity of weather extremes such as droughts poses substantial challenges for policymakers. Information about the current climate relies on 30-year