The value of total imports of tea to the Sultanate of Oman until February 2022 amounted to RO 2.5 million, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information.
Imports from the United Arab Emirates topped the list with RO 1.4 million, followed by the Republic of Kenya with RO 535,400 and then the Federal Republic of Tanzania with RO 328,600.
This coincides with the International Tea Day, which falls on May 21 each year.
The tea industry is a major source of income and export earnings for some countries. It provides employment opportunities as a labour-intensive sector in particularly remote and economically disadvantaged areas. Tea plays an important role in rural development, poverty reduction and food security in developing countries, as it is one of the most important cash crops. Tea has health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and weight loss benefits. It also has cultural significance in many societies.
In a report posted on its website, the United Nations said that it is expected that the global consumption and production of tea will continue to rise during the next decade as a result of strong demand for it in developing and emerging countries. This will create new opportunities for rural income and improve food security in tea-producing countries.
Tea consumption has increased rapidly, particularly in China, India and other emerging economies, driven by rising incomes and increased efforts to diversify production to include speciality types such as herbal teas and tea blended with fruit flavours and other distinctive flavours.
The report notes that the increase in tea consumption is also due to increased awareness of its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and weight loss benefits. These health benefits are the main driver of future consumption growth.
According to the report, global production of black tea is expected to rise annually by 2.2 per cent over the next decade to reach 4.4 million tonnes in 2027, reflecting significant increases in production in China, Kenya and Sri Lanka. In this way, China will reach production levels in Kenya, the world's largest exporter of black tea.
Global production of green tea is also expected to rise faster by 7.5 per cent to 3.6 million tonnes in 2027, mainly driven by production levels in China, which is expected to double and rise from 1.5 million tonnes per year in 2015-2017 to 3.3 million tonnes in 2027.