19 districts identified for coffee production

Madan Wagle

Tanahun, January 31:

National Tea and Coffee Development Board has informed that 19 districts in the country have good potential to produce quality coffee.

The districts include Tanahun, Lamjung, Gorkha, Syangja and Kaski of Gandaki zone, Palpa, Gulmi, Arghakhanchi and Syangja in Lumbini zone, Baglung, Myagdi and Parbat in Dhaualgiri zone and Dhading, Nuwakot, Kavre, Sindhupalchok and Lalitpur in Bagmati zone.

The NTCDB has cited the report of two South American experts, Paul Casifer and Maurisio Salinas, who were in the country to conduct training on coffee farming.

They have found the coffee produced in Gorkha similar to that of Mexico. It further said that at present, Nepal is exporting 65 metric tonnes of raw coffee produced in 19 districts to Holland and Japan mainly. Nar Bahadur Amagain, a tea-coffee expert said that a successful experiment on coffee farming has already been conducted first in Gulmi, then Palpa and 21 other districts. The NTCDB also informed that Nepal is importing power coffee worth Rs 40 million each year. It further informed that Nepal produces 70,00,000 kg of CTC tea and 10,00,000 kg of orthodox tea. Out of a total consumption of 1,00,00,000 kg of tea in the country, about 30,000 kg is imported from India at a cost of Rs 70 million each year.

Also an environmentalist, Amagain said Nepali tea is meeting only 41 per cent of the domestic demand. Tea plantation has already gained momentum in the districts of Taplejung, Sangkhuwasabha, Gorkha, Lamjung, Kaski, Nuwakot, Solukhumbu, Kavre, Lalitpur, Rasuwa, Makawanpur, Dhading and Tanahun besides Ilam, Dhankuta, Panchthar and Terhathum.