Tea has been grown in Vietnam for over 2,000 years and the custom of tea drinking has been handed down from generation to generation. At the end of the 19th century the French colonial power set up the first tea plantation in order to commercialize tea in Vietnam. Large scale commercialization started in 1918 after the creation of the Union of Vietnam Tea Farming-lndustry. During the French War (1 945 -1 954), the tea market collapsed, and most tea plantations were abandoned, until 1960 to 1970, when there was a strong revival. During this period area under tea increased by 14,330 hectares. The implementation of" doi moi" ( open door policy of the government) added to the surge of revival. Between 1990 and 2003 tea production, yield and area increased at average annual rates of 7, 3.5, 3.1 percent, respectively. Despite this growth, the average yield remains relatively low at 0.95 ton made tea /hectare, compared to India at 1.8 ton & Kenya at 2.2 ton. In 2003 the tea industry, which depended on Inter-governmental trade with lraq, suffered due to the lraq war.
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