Economic analysis of a planting density experiment for tea in China


  • Dan M. Etherington Economics Department, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia


Tea, China, Economics, Planting density


Average tea yields in China are low by international standards and are extremely low when compared with yields obtained on experiment stations. This Paper reports on a ten-year planting density trial undertaken by the Tea Research Institute in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. The green tea vegetatively-propagated clonal variety used in the trial is called 'Longjing 43'. Four different planting density levels were used in the trial. At the high densities used, this variety has yields which are more than ten times greater than the average for Zhejiang Province. The economic analysis examines the performance in terms of conventional investment criteria: SNPV, Perpetual Annuity, B/C ratio, IRR and the Discounted payback period. The optimum time to prune is also calculated for each of the trials and sensitivity analyses are undertaken using various assumptions as to the relative performance farmers might attain. The very favourable economic results suggest that such high planting densities may have application in other countries - especially where labour for training young tea bushes is in short supply.

How to Cite

Etherington, D. M. (1990). Economic analysis of a planting density experiment for tea in China. Tropical Agriculture, 67(3). Retrieved from



Research Papers