While tea growing has enjoyed a long history in China, the new generation of tea farmers finds it a tough task to carry on their family legacy in traditional ways. Deng is a millennial farmer who has taken over his family’s 3.3-hectare tea plantation, situated at 1100 meters above sea level in Mengding Mountain near Ya’an City, Sichuan Province in Southwest China.
Deng has encountered the following problems:
- low planting density, with high management cost
- uneven budding, with a low yield
- difficulty in demonstrating the tea’s organic environment in the high mountains, thus making it difficult to get a good price or recognition for his brand, YI YE SHENG.
To tackle these problems, Deng was willing to embrace smart farming technology. He was immediately an ideal candidate when we began searching for a pilot farm to test Seeed’s SenseCAP, the wireless IoT sensor network solution. The smart agriculture solution, which is wittily named “IoTea” for this pilot tea project, was deployed in Deng’s plantation in the high-altitude Mengding Mountain in 2018.
The IoT application consists of LoRa gateways and sensor nodes:
- SenseCAP Wireless Gateway – LoRaWAN
- SenseCAP Wireless Air Temperature and Humidity Sensor – LoRaWAN
- SenseCAP Wireless Barometric Pressure Sensor – LoRaWAN
- SenseCAP Wireless Light Intensity Sensor – LoRaWAN
- SenseCAP Wireless CO2 Sensor – LoRaWAN
- SenseCAP Wireless Soil Moisture and Temperature Sensor – LoRaWAN
With the solution deployed in the tea plantation, Deng is able to monitor the following environmental data which are crucial to tea quality. Among these data, air humidity, temperature, and atmospheric pressure are the main parameters proving the tea’s high-mountain environment.
- Air Temperature
- Air Humidity
- Barometric Pressure
- Light Intensity
- Soil Moisture
- Soil Temperature
The environmental data collected provides insights for Deng to manage the farm more efficiently, and with lower labor cost.
More importantly, the historical and real-time environmental data of the farm where their tea is from is made available to end customers, who simply scan the QR code on the tea’s packaging to access the webpage containing the data in graphs. Thus, the tea-growing environment is traceable by the customers, proving the green tea they are enjoying is in fact from the high mountains.
In this way, Deng can gradually build up his brand with loyal customers, and supply to end-users directly with a better price, instead of only selling to large tea companies who dominate the market.
This project also helps contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals.
About High-mountain Tea
High-mountain tea refers to teas grown in high mountains that are higher than 1000 meters above sea level. Due to the large temperature difference between night and day, the high air humidity and the thick mist, the teas grown in this environment usually contain a higher chlorophyll and amino acids in the tea leaves, which are responsible for the tea quality including its color and taste. The high-mountain tea leaves feature thickness in texture, fresh green in color, and density in trichomes, resulting in rich milky flavors and pleasant floral aromas.
Partners: Yi Ye Sheng
- Learn more about SenseCAP
- SenseCAP IoTea Project
- SenseCAP API Introduction
- SenseCAP Selected as Smart Agriculture Innovation of the Year
- SenseCAP among the First Products Certified by Microsoft Plug & Play (PnP)