Coffee board targets doubling productionThe Nepal Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) has targeted doubling the production of Nepali coffee from 466 tonnes to 1,000 tonnes annually in the next five years.
The Nepal Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) has targeted doubling the production of Nepali coffee from 466 tonnes to 1,000 tonnes annually in the next five years.
Using advanced technology in coffee production, expanding the coffee acreage and promoting high quality coffee are among its plans to boost the coffee industry.
The board has set the production target after devising a ‘coffee export strategy’ which is in the final stage of being approved by the Ministry of Agricultural Development.
“We have finalised a draft of the strategy paper and will soon present it to the NTCDB board for final approval,” said NTCDB Executive Director Sheshkant Gautam. “The strategy could show the way forward when demand for Nepali coffee has been swelling.”
The board has prepared the strategy with support from the Commerce Ministry and the European Union under its Trade and Private Sector Development Programme. The European Union has considered promotion of Nepali coffee as one of the three components of the programme, according to Gautam.
The NTCDB has envisioned doubling coffee production. “To this end, we have planned to increase the area under coffee plantation significantly by identifying potential areas in the eastern and far western regions,” he said.
The Nepal Trade Integration Strategy 2016 has identified Nepali coffee, popularly known as Himalayan beans, as one of the nine products having high export potential.
A total of 23 districts including Gulmi, Palpa, Arghakhanchi, Lalitpur, Tanahu, Kavre, Sindhupalchok, Lamjung, Kaski, Gorkha, Syangja, Parbat and Baglung, among others, are the major coffee producing districts in the country. “We have conducted a preliminary study that has identified 41 districts as having high potential for coffee production,” Gautam said.
As per the board, the new sites identified for possible coffee cultivation are Okhaldhunga, Sindhuli, Ilam, Panchthar and Taplejung districts in eastern Nepal,” Gautam said. “Similarly, hilly districts in the far west such as Darchula have been found to be suitable for coffee farming.”
Providing training to coffee growers, promoting nurseries through coffee cooperatives and increasing investment in coffee production through newly formed local governments are among the steps that the board has planned to achieve its target. “Similarly, the strategy paper has mentioned promoting the value chain and marketing of the collective trade mark of Nepali coffee in the international market,” Gautam said.
As per the NTCDB, coffee production rose 7 percent to 466 tonnes last year following an increase in the coffee acreage from 2,618 hectares to 2,646 hectares. Nepal exported 99 tonnes of coffee worth Rs50.4 million last year.