NTCDB plans for tea, coffee promos ready

KATHMANDU: Nepal Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) will come up with strategic plans for the promotion of tea and coffee and for the enhancement of production and quality of both.

"The primary drafts for the Five-Year Strategic Plan for coffee and the Three-Year Strategic Plan for tea have been prepared," said Binay Kumar Mishra, NTCDB executive director. NTCDB is working in coordination with representatives of CTC, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Himalayan Orthodox Tea Producers (HOTPA), different tea entrepreneurs, NGOs and INGOs to finalise the plan within the current fiscal year.

"We are done with the primary draft and are working over it. Hopefully, we will get it finalised within this fiscal year and implement it from the next fiscal year," said Mishra.

The three-year tea plan will support the product, production and quality enhancement, improvement of Nepali tea market, research on and development of different tea centres, capacity building and development of skilled manpower.

NTCDB has targeted to implemented its Five-Year Strategic Plan for coffee from June-July. The main aim of the strategic coffee plan is to boost production and productivity of small entrepreneurs, enhance and ensure the quality of Nepali coffee, strengthen the sub-sectors, develop the market for coffee, manage stream border, research on organic coffee production, enhancement of market-orientation of coffee producers, and produce coffee of international standards, implement and manage national coffee logo and establish a monitoring system. Total coffee exported in during the fiscal year 2007-08 was worth Rs 80 million while around Rs 60 million was internally consumed. "65 per cent of total coffee produced is exported abroad while 35 per cent is consumed in the local market," said Mishra.

Of the total coffee producers, 78 per cent have less than 100 coffee plants that produce less than 400-kg of fresh coffee cherry and less than 80-kg of green beans which can be exported.

"We will be establishing one central office, two regional offices at Jhapa and Pokhara and seven extension centers, along with the completion of our plans for Tea," he added.

The strategic plan aims to increase the total tea consumption to 600 MT per year per person, which is presently 350 MT per person per year. As well as increase the total production of tea from 16,000 MT per year to 30,000 MT per year, within five years. "Prosperity for all through Tea is our main moto to enhance the contribution of tea sector to poverty alleviation and social stability of tea in the rural sector. Along with the implementation of the Tea plans we will be able to generate more than 50 per cent increment in employment," Mishra said. Presently there are around one lakh people involved in this sector with 70 per cent of them women.

The total tea exported in the fiscal year 2007-08 was worth Rs 900 million, while total imports was of Rs 13.1 million. The total internal consumption of tea is about 8,000 MT that is around Rs 56 billion. Total tea plantation during the year 2007-08 was in 16,594 hectares that produced 16.12 million-kg.