BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- China will promote the development of the tea industry over the next few years, according to guidelines issued by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) on Friday.
China aims to expand its tea growing areas to around 42 million mu (2.8 million hectares) by 2020, up from 41.87 million mu last year. Tea output and exports should double the 2015 levels and the tea industry's competitiveness should also be improved, the guidelines said.
China is the world's biggest tea producer with output of 2.25 million tonnes last year, said Zeng Yande, head of the MOA crop production management department.
Tea drinking in China began thousands of years ago, and tea plays an important role in the lives of Chinese people.
Each Chinese person consumes 1.3 kilos of tea every year, Zeng said, adding that he expects the figure to rise to 1.7 kilos by 2020.
Tea is also an agricultural products widely popular in overseas markets. However, Zeng called for better tea quality and lower costs against the backdrop of a slowing global economy and mounting trade protectionism.