FAO Current Affairs - 2020

May 21: International Tea Day

Every year, on May 21, the United Nations observes International Tea Day. The resolution to celebrate International Tea Day was adopted in 2019 by the United Nations food and Agriculture Organization.

History

The International Tea Day is being celebrated since 2005 in major tea producing countries of the world namely Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kenya, Malaysia, Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania. It aims to draw the attention of citizens, governments about the impact of global tea trade.

Objective

The main goal of the day is to promote sustainable production of tea and increase awareness in fighting poverty and hunger.

Intergovernmental Group on Tea

The Intergovernmental Group of Tea operating under Food and Agriculture Organization proposed the concept of International Tea Day in 2015.

Sustainable Development Goals

The tea production helps to achieve the following goals

  • Goal 1: Reduce Poverty
  • Goal 2: Fight Hunger
  • Goal 5: Empowerment of Women
  • Goal 15: Sustainable use of Terrestrial Ecosystems

Significance

Tea Production is sensitive to climate changes. Tea can be produced only in agro-ecological conditions. There are very limited countries that produce tea.

Therefore, the tea producing countries must integrate the climate challenges along with their tea production. This is the main objective of celebrating International Tea Day.

India

India is the second largest tea producing country after China. Also, India is the largest consumer of tea in the world. India consumes around 30% of global tea output.

Motto

The International Tea Day is celebrated on the motto, “Harnessing Benefits for all From Field to Cup”. This is not the theme of the day. This is the motto under which the day is celebrated every year.

ICAR prepared fisheries guidelines become part of FAO

On May 7, 2020, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) released advisories to fisheries sector in 12 languages. Apart from Hindi and English, advisories were issued in 10 regional languages.

Highlights

The advisories were prepared and issued by ICAR-CIFRI (Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute), Barrackpore. It included rivers, reservoirs, estuaries, wetlands and reservoirs. Apart from these, capture fisheries were also included.

FAO Global Guidelines

The advisories for fisheries sector have become part of FAO global guidelines. The Food and Agriculture Organization has recommended the advisories prepared by the council for the region of Asia and its initiatives. The guidelines have been made voluntary guidelines for securing Sustainable small-scale fisheries.

Need

The advisories come as the fish workers, processors, fishermen and their communities face threats of pandemic. This has been affecting their livelihoods and value chains.

How is COVID-19 affecting Fisheries sector?

The fishing activity has come to a halt. This was mainly because of labour shortage, limited supplies of ice, gear and bait. As the markets are closed because of lock down the fish farmers are not able to sell their harvest. The export species are equally affected. The fisheries sector has also received major blow from the closure of food services especially, the hotels and restaurants operating in tourism sector.

Successful Measures in India

  • Time Auction System adopted in Kerala had been a huge hit.
  • Large scale mechanized boats have been banned in India. However, small beach landing boats are allowed to help in food security needs of the fishermen.
  • Around 75,000 fishermen are still staying in the sea. They are kept in the sea to ensure their safety. In Gujarat, around 15,000 trawlers have been anchored to keep the fishermen safe. They are said to be under sea quarantine.