Decline in Tea Quality Concerns Tea Growers

August 14, 2014
Top Right Tea Image

ASTER image of Jorhat City, Assam, India acquired on May 7, 2010. Located among many tea plantations within the outlined box is the Tocklai Tea Estate where this study was conducted.

Tea growers are looking to satellite images to help produce and maintain healthy tea crops. The tea industry is expected to increase along with the world population creating a leading world cash crop. As one of the main tea producing countries, India has experienced a decline in tea production and quality. Tea growers in northeast India are concerned with the decline and are seeking help from NASA’s Terra Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument. This study investigated a method using a remotely sensed ASTER image to monitor tea quality. The ASTER image was used to create a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) image in order to determine whether healthy versus unhealthy tea bushes could be differentiated. NDVI is used by researches to measure green vegetation or the amount of sunlight that is reflected by plants. In this study researchers found that the NDVI image could detect nutritional status of tea bushes due to their unique spectral reflectance characteristics, thus demonstrating an application for monitoring tea quality.

Aster TEA India

ASTER image of Jorhat City, Assam, India acquired on May 7, 2010. Located among many tea plantations within the outlined box is the Tocklai Tea Estate where this study was conducted.


References:

R. Dutta, A. Stein, R.M. Bhagat, Integrating satellite images and spectroscopy to measuring green and black tea quality, Food Chemistry, Volume 127, Issue 2, 15 July 2011, Pages 866-874, ISSN 0308-8146, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.12.160.

Photo by Amlan Basumatari (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Material written by: Kari Beckendorf1

1 Innovate!, Inc., contractor to the U.S. Geological Survey, Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA. Work performed under USGS contract G10PC00044 for LP DAAC2.

2 LP DAAC Work performed under NASA contract NNG14HH33I.