Coffee farming catches on

Palpa, June 24:

Farmers in Arghakhanchi district are attracted to coffee farming as it fetches them a good income.

Coffee Entrepreneurs’ Association, Arghakhanchi (CEAA) has said that farmers are generating a good income from the coffee far-ming. Coffee produced in the district is exported to western countries, including US. “Some 11 tonnes of coffee was exported to the US this year,” CEAA said.

“Coffee is being exported to the US through Kathmandu based Holland Coffee Promotion Company (HCPC),” said Bishnu Pra-sad Bhusal, CEAA vice-chairperson, adding that coffee that was ready for roasting was exported to the US market. “A coffee collection centre has also been established in the district headquarters Sandhikharka,” he said.

“CEAA had exported 15 tonnes of coffee to the US, Japan and Korea last year, however, less amount of coffee is exported this year due to white insects that affected coffee,” Bhusal informed.

Over 70 tonnes of coffee is produced in Nepal every year and half of the produce in consumed in the local market. “The district has set a target to produce more than 18 tonnes of coffee next year,” CEAA said.

Out of 42 VDCs in the district, 14 VDCs including Balkot, Wangla and Thulopokhara are actively involved in coffee farming. Some 600 farmers of 22 groups are involved in the coffee farming in the district. “Coffee farming fetches them over Rs 10,00,000 every year.”

“We are planning to farm coffee in almost all VDCs in the district next year,” Bhuvan Bhattarai, a coffee farmer said. CEAA has 14 coffee processing machines which it has distributed to the different groups.

Women are also actively involved in the coffee farming. “Coffee farming is beneficial to us and we are involved in every aspect of coffee farming”, Indira Bhusal of Balkot VDC said.