Traders urge envoys to ease export of Nepali tea and coffee

Kathmandu, November 4

Traders have urged new envoys to India and China to help ease export of Nepali tea and coffee to Indian and Chinese markets.

Citing that Indian customs have been obstructing export of Nepali tea and coffee to the southern market as well as to third countries by seeking the quality certificate of Central Food Laboratories (CFL) from individual traders, the traders have requested newly-appointed Nepali Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay to do the needful to end such hurdles.

According to traders, the Indian side is intentionally not entertaining import of Nepali tea and coffee after Nepal’s tea and coffee started giving stiff competition to tea and coffee produced in Darjeeling in terms of quality.

“Our products are blocked by the Indian customs officials time and again citing issues related to quality certification. As a result, we are not able to deliver our products to foreign markets on time,” Uday Chapagain, president of Himalayan Orthodox Tea Producers Association (HOTPA).

Consequently, the country has been witnessing a surplus in production of tea at present, even though Nepali tea is in high demand in the international market, according to Chapagain.

Traders of both tea and coffee also asked Nepali Ambassador to China Leela Mani Paudyal to talk with the Chinese authorities and traders to give entry to Nepali tea and coffee. Informing that traders have been adopting different Chinese technologies to produce tea and coffee, traders urged Paudyal to seek further technical assistance from China to support farmers who are involved in tea and coffee farming.

On the occasion, Nepali envoy to India Upadhyay urged the traders to focus on collective export of tea as well as coffee.

“Customs offices will have less concern over quality certificate of CFL once tea and coffee are exported in the name of an association. Export of low volume of goods by individual traders is more likely to raise concerns related to quality,” said Upadhyay.

Upadhyay, however, vowed to promote Nepali tea and coffee in the Indian market by organising a big Tea and Coffee Fair within the premises of the Nepali Embassy in India.

Similarly, Nepali envoy to China Paudyal said that domestic traders should focus on large scale production of tea and coffee so that Nepali traders ensure the supply is sufficient to meet the demand of any Chinese company or trader.

“China offers a huge market for both coffee and tea. Consumption of both beverages is increasing heavily in China every year. In such a context, we should be on a standby to ensure we can supply as per the demand from Chinese market before promoting our products there,” Paudyal said.

Similarly, Paudyal also urged traders to maintain quality and focus on attractive packaging so that it is easy to brand them among international consumers.

Tea and coffee farming is basically carried out in the eastern part of the country and is much limited to districts in Mechi Zone.