SDM Project: Converting pests as allies in tea farming - a potential case of Satoyama landscape in Hualien, Taiwan
Society for Wildlife and Nature (SWAN) International
1. Division of Forest Protection, Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (science partner)
2.Biodiversity Research Center, National Taiwan University (science partner)
DATE OF SUBMISSION
Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)
Dr. Jung-Tai Chao/ Scientist and Board Member
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.