SDM Project: Converting pests as allies in tea farming - a potential case of Satoyama landscape in Hualien, Taiwan

31.12.2014

SUBMITTED ORGANISATION

Society for Wildlife and Nature (SWAN) International

PARTNER ORGANISATIONS

1. Division of Forest Protection, Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (science partner)

2.Biodiversity Research Center, National Taiwan University (science partner)

DATE OF SUBMISSION

December 2014

REGION

Asia

COUNTRY

Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)

FOCAL POINT

Dr. Jung-Tai Chao/ Scientist and Board Member

Summary Sheet

The summary sheet for this case study is available here.

SDM website

More information is available here

Abstract

Conventional tea farming in Taiwan requires the application of herbicides and pesticides to control pests, which cause serious negative impacts on the surrounding biodiversity. In Hualien County of eastern Chinese Taipei, however, at least two tea farming families completely stopped the use of pesticides and are using tea pests as their allies to produce a value-added tea product. Tea leaves damaged by green leafhopper, a species formerly considered as a pest, gave the tea a unique honey flavour which was highly appreciated by consumers. SWAN International investigated whether these tea plantations have higher biodiversity than that of conventional tea plantations, and whether the new eco-friendly farming approach benefits local communities.

Eco-friendly tea farm

Socio-economic survey