Green tea leaves in Ilam face market shortage

Himalayan News Service

Ilam, April 30:

Green tea farmers in Ilam are worried since tea leaves are not getting a proper market. The problem has been created due to excessive production of green tea leaves that has beaten the consumption capacity of tea factories. The problem has been compounded due to the factor that India has banned the import of green tea leaves. Five private tea factories located in eastern Ilam have exhausted their processing capacity to grind tea leaves but have not been able to use up the amount of tea leaves being produced in the area.

Now the factories are buying green tea leaves only twice a week. Green tea leaves are being wasted in tea estates, said Dhan Bahadur Yangmali, chairman of small farmers’ association.

Due to security concerns related to elections for the lower house of parliament in India, imports of almost all kind of goods have been banned for the last week. Farmers are plucking tea leaves and stocking them at their houses due to lack of market. “Tea farmers are facing this problem at the peak season,” said Ekraj Ghimire, a local tea farmer. Farmers in the Indo-Nepal border areas, particularly belonging to Shreeantu, Samalbung, Pashupatinagar and Phikal VDCs used to sell tea leaves to Indian factories, but this time due to ban in exports are facing problems.