Villagers in Morang opt for tea farming

Manoj Shrestha

Biratnagar, June 23:

Farmers in the hilly region of northern Morang have started tea farming for the first time in the district. Singhdevi, Barangi, Bhogateni, Patigaun, Ramitekhola and Yangshila are known as the remote VDCs of the district but there is a decent climate for tea cultivation, locals said.

“Due to the lack of transportation, these places remain deprived from becoming tourism zones,” Hikmat Rai, a local said. Tea farming initiated by Narayan Rai, 35, of Singhadevi VDC has become the ‘Miklung Tea Multi-purpose Cooperation.’ In the preliminary phase, only 15 ropani of land was cultivated with tea, but today, more than 50 ropani of land has been farmed with tea at Singhadevi VDC. The VDCs fall in cold zones, which is appropriate for tea farming.

Rai has invested more than Rs 80 million for the betterment of tea. Locals are ready to establish a tea processing company there. More than 20 families in Singhadevi VDC are engaged in this profession. “Paddy and corn plantation are rare so as an alternate, to support our families, we initiated tea farming,” said Rai. The cooperative is also providing tea saplings at a low cost. But locals are worried about the absence of technicians to support their farming. District Agriculture Development office is situated far away for them. “The technicians have different reasons for not coming here. From the initial phase of farming, no technician has come here to support us,” said Kebal Dangal, headmaster of Kalyankari Secondary School.