Agro expo 2006 : Nepali tea readies for stronger market penetration

Kathmandu :

The growth and expansion of tea industry in Nepal took momentum after the involvement of private sector. Now, the industry has become more competitive, market oriented and


The area under tea cultivation in Nepal in 2004-05 has more than 15,901 hectares of land consisting of more than 85 tea estates, 38 tea processing factories and more than 12.6 million kg of tea production. The tea produced here are mainly of two types namely CTC and orthodox tea. CTC tea, wh-ich is also known as black tea, is consumed within the country whereas orthodox tea, which is known, as hill tea is export oriented.

The National Tea Policy introduced in the year 2000 was expected to boost the growth of tea Industry in Nepal. Likewise the tea logos implemented are expected to be helpful in marking Nepali tea in the international markets.

Recently, orthodox tea producers took and initiative to prepare and implement code of conduct in product/processing and marketing of orthodox tea. Furthermore, some tea manufactures are also gearing towards implementation of HACCP as a part of quality assurance of international level. CTC (Cut Tore and Curled) tea is mainly prized for its strong colour, which is a main quality attribute for most of the domestic consumers and as a result, this tea accounts for more than 95 per cent of total domestic consumption.

It is produced in the Terai districts, mainly concentrated in Jhapa. As per the statistics of the government, currently, Nepal is producing 10.94 million kg of the CTC tea.

Orthodox tea is exclusi-vely made fr-om processing the leaves of hill grown tea bushes and therefo-re, it is also known as hill tea. Nepali orthodox tea, which is produced at an altitude between 3,000 ft to 7,000 ft are famous for its aroma, bright liquor and subtle, slight fruity flavour, which are mostly sought attributes by the consumers of overseas countries.

The total land under orthodox tea plantation is around 6,949 hectares, which consists of more than 35 tea states, around 5,584 small farmers and about 15 tea-processing factories. Almost 20 sm-all farmers’ cooperatives have been formed. Currently, Nepal is producing more than 1.66 million kg of orthod-ox tea of whi-ch, more tha-n 90 per cent is exported to India and overseas and the rest is partially used for direct consumption and partially for blending purposes in the black tea to impart it with good flavour.

The major hill plantation districts are Ilam, Terathum, Dhankuta, and Panchthar and it is expanding to other districts too, like Sindhupalchowk and Nuwakot.

Market More than 2.5 million kg of CTC tea is reported to have been sold to India and Pakistan in 2004-05.

CTC tea is expected to meet the national demand in near future and it will be surplus for export in the coming four to five years. Furthermore, the recently announced tea policy aims for the production of CTC tea up to 36 million kg by the year 2010-11 from which 0.6 to 0.65 million kg will be available as surplus for export. Nepal needs to start market promotion of CTC in the international markets, of which one of the probable countries will be Pakistan.

Similarly, the demand for orthodox tea in the overseas markets is increasing due to the increase in the health consciousness and quality demand in consumers. Mo-st orthodox tea exports are destined to directly to Germany, Japan and US and other overseas destinations and also to India for its consumption and re-export.

Also, the government has put forward an ambitious plan to increase the production level of orthodox tea by more than 16 million kg within the year 2010-11.

The private sector is continuously promoting Nepal Tea in the international ma-rkets particularly in Europe and Japan. In order to expand the market and enter it as a niche product, Nepali orthodox tea manufacturers and processors are in the process of acquiring organic certification. Two tea proce-ssors have already been certified as organic, which will enhance the marketability of Nepali orthodox tea in the international markets.