Organic tea farmers deprived of state facilities

Dhankuta, January 21

Organic tea farmers in Dhankuta complained that they were deprived of state facilities as per the government’s plan.

The farmers said it has been eight years, but the government has yet to provide them organic fertiliser and subsidised loan, among others. They added that local farmers had been financially burdened after the government did not provide incentives for organic tea farming.

A local farmer Nil Bahadur Ghimire of Dhankuta Municipality said they were compelled to search for other alternatives as they could not run their families selling organic tea. He said there were three industries in Dhankuta. “Organic farmers are facing  problems as the government has yet to determine the price of organic and chemical tea,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chief at Agriculture Knowledge Centre, Dhankuta, Surya Prasad Sapkota said the farmers had been farming around 4,544 hectare land in Pakhribas and Mahalaxmi rural municipalities and Dhankuta Municipality. He added that the farmers had also expanded 149 hectare for organic tea farming last year.

National Tea and Coffee Development Board, Hile Branch, said the government had yet to provide the facility to farmers although the provision was already there.

Guranse Tea Industry Manager Nabin Basnet said organic tea produced in Dhankuta was supplied to India, the US, UK and Switzerland. The industry owners said there would be a future in organic tea farming if the government attracted farmers with some incentives.