The weather is the biggest aspect of any farmers life, it is the bottom line. Despite all of your best efforts in every aspect of your crop husbandry, it is the weather that controls if you are going to have a good year or bad one, whether the crops will grow, flourish, survive or die. It is beyond our control but yet something as a global community we do undeniably have an impact on.
Kenya has traditionally been a fantastic place to grow tea, sunshine, warmth, fertile soils and regular, if not daily, rainfall. However recently we’ve been noticing increasingly intense weather events, with monthly averages of rainfall falling in single day rather than spread evenly over the month, a worrying trend.
Intense rainfall can be particularly damaging to farms, with surface run off potentially causing soil erosion unless preventative measures are taken. The changing weather patterns also mean that the tea bushes are experiencing longer dry periods in between these intense bursts, which can stress the bushes and reduce green leaf production as soil moisture drops.
There is little doubt in our minds that human activity, in particular deforestation of indigenous, ancient forests surrounding our farms is having an effect on the rainfall patterns. This combined with more wider-reaching and global issues of carbon emissions are undoubtedly contributing to changing weather in this changing world. Something that everyone on Earth cannot ignore and must do their bit to live and act sustainably.
Through our Williamson Tea Foundation we are continuously investing in climate smart agriculture, renewable energy sources, soil and natural resource conservation, with the aim of ensuring that we meet the needs of modern dynamic agriculture without compromising the ability of future generations to enjoy the same unique conditions that Kenya offers tea farmers today.