Govt fixes support price for coffee
Kathmandu, November 15
Nepal Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) — a specialised body of the government for the development of tea and coffee — fixed the support price for coffee today.
The board has fixed the support price of the product in different stages of processing.
As per the support price determined by NTCDB, farmers can sell Fresh Cherry ‘A’ grade coffee for Rs 83 per kg and ‘B’ grade per kg at Rs 78. Likewise, Rs 415 per kg has been set for grade ‘A’ parchment coffee and Rs 400 per kg for grade ‘B’ parchment coffee. Parchment coffee is prepared through advance quality pulping equipment.
For Dry Cherry, which is produced through a primitive method of drying coffee Rs 140, Rs 100 and Rs 40 have been fixed for grade ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’, respectively, according to the board.
The NTCDB has fixed the support price to safeguard the farmers ensuring their returns. It is also going to mark the 12th National Coffee Day on Wednesday and the major emphasis of the National Coffee Day will be promotion of quality production, to be self-reliant in coffee and promoting exports.
Coffee has been identified as a major cash crop and is also a priority export product. The government’s export strategy — Nepal Trade Integration Strategy, 2016 — has also highlighted coffee as a potential export commodity from Nepal if it is properly marketed and branded in international arena.
Mostly, Arabica variety of coffee is being cultivated in Nepal and 41 districts of the mid-hill range are appropriate for coffee production. Coffee plantation is suitable at an altitude of around 1,100 metres.
NTCDB also launched a campaign to distribute quality seedlings of coffee in the potential area since last year.
Under this campaign, around one million seedlings are expected to be distributed by the end of this fiscal year and cultivation area is also expected to be increased by an additional 500 hectares, according to Shesh Kanta Gautam, executive director of NTCDB.
Though there is tremendous potential for coffee production, the country has been importing coffee from various countries to cater to local demand.
According to the board, the country imported 111 tonnes of coffee valued at Rs 55.6 million against total export of 112 tonnes worth Rs 108.19 million in last fiscal 2015-16. Coffee cultivation area till last fiscal stood at 2,618 hectares and production stood at 434 tonnes, as per NTCDB.
The NTCDB has been working with Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology to prepare a national standard for coffee and the government has also been preparing a five-year coffee development strategy for the integrated development of the coffee sector.
There is high demand for Himalayan Coffee in the international market but the country has been able to tap only a small segment of the market in China, Japan, Korea and Germany.