Tea exports down as production upTea exports dropped 1.13 percent in the last fiscal year despite a significant growth in the plantation area and volume of production.
Tea exports dropped 1.13 percent in the last fiscal year despite a significant growth in the plantation area and volume of production.
Nepal exported tea worth Rs2 billion in 2014-15 compared to Rs2.02 billion in the previous year, according to National Tea and Coffee Development Board. During the period under review, the production was recorded at 23,186 tonnes, up from Rs21,076 tonnes. The plantation area to increased to 26,165 hectares from 20,120 hectares.
Sheshkanta Gautam, executive director at the board, however, said the actual export figure should be much higher given the fact that most of the exports to India do not come under the official record. “Unlike in the past when India used to import only CTC tea from Nepal, the demand for Nepali orthodox and green tea is on the rise in India.”
As per the board’s record, out of 23,186 tonnes of tea production, orthodox tea amounted to 4,923 tonnes (21.23 percent). Gautam said 80 percent of orthodox tea is exported, and of the total exports, 40 percent is supplied to the southern neighbour.
Gautam said tea plantation area has been expanding in districts like Bhojpur, Lalitpur, Ramechhap and Dolakha of late. “Besides, a number of farmers in Sankhuwasabha, Kaski and Kathmandu districts have also been attracted towards tea plantation, especially for promoting tourism,” he said.
The board plans to plant an additional one million tea saplings by mid September. Gautam said the board, in association with Trade and Export Promotion Centre and Himalayan Orthodox Tea Producers’ Association, has also been facilitating the registration of the collective trade mark of “Nepal Tea” in a number of countries, including Germany, France, the USA and the UK. Nepali tea received the collective trade mark last year.
Meanwhile, the board, in association with Central Bureau of Statistics, plans to install a GIS-based MIS software to help maintain the export data properly.