| || The fertility of the red soil and the regular rains over the region of Corrientes create the ideal conditions for the cultivation of tea. In an effort to protect the soil against erosion, tea is planted along curved terraces and sheltered from the wind by hedges. Unlike Asian and African countries where the young sprouts are handpicked, in Argentina mechanical harvesting is the rule, done mainly with high-clearance tractors that are driven along the straight rows of tea bushes. The tea cultivated here, a hybrid of the Indian Assam variety, produces only a low yield (around 70,000 tons per year). Harvested in summer, it complements the large winter production of traditional maté, a native type of holly also known as "Jesuits' tea", drunk as an infusion. Today tea is grown in 45 countries among which India, China, Kenya and Sri Lanka alone provide nearly 72% of the 3.5 million tons per year produced globally.
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