Kathmandu, November 16, 2016:Â Nepalâ€™s coffee production is enough to fulfil only 5 percent of export demand, signalling the presence of a big market abroad for the beverage. Demand for Nepali coffee totalled 7,000-8,000 tonnes in the international market in the last fiscal year while output stood at around 434 tonnes, the National Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) said.
Nepali coffee, popularly called Himalayan Beans, has been gaining popularity in the global market. However, the country has failed to reap the benefits from coffee trading amid growing demand due to inadequate production. According to the board, coffee production dipped 6 percent in 2015-16 due to last yearâ€™s earthquake, Indian blockade and scanty rainfall.
Sheshkanta Gautam, executive director of the board, said production could grow in the coming years with an increasing number of farmers being attracted to this cash crop. As per the boardâ€™s data, the coffee acreage increased by 237 hectares to 2,618 hectares last year.
â€œWe have estimated that an additional 1 million coffee plants will be produced by the end of this year, which is an outcome of the training we conducted last year,â€ he said. â€œIf all the saplings are planted, the area under coffee cultivation is likely to expand by 500 hectares.â€
The country started exporting coffee commercially in 2000 with a shipment of 9 tonnes. In 2008-09, it exported 88 tonnes of coffee worth Rs790 million. Over the last seven years, Nepal has been able to add only 24 tonnes to its exports.
As per NTCDB statistics, Nepal exported 112 tonnes of coffee worth Rs100 million last years, resulting in a 1.5 percent rise in export earnings over the previous year.
South Korea, Germany and a number of European countries are the main importers of Nepali coffee. Canada and Japan are reported to be the emerging export destinations for the product.
Gulmi, Palpa, Arghakhanchi, Lalitpur, Tanahu, Kavre, Sindhupalchok, Lamjung, Kaski, Gorkha, Syangja, Parbat and Baglung are the major coffee producing districts in the country. According to the board, more than 30,000 farmers in 40 districts are engaged in coffee production.
Support prices fixed
The National Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) has fixed the minimum support price of Nepali coffee which will be effective Wednesday. According to NTCDB Executive Director Shesh Kanta Â Gautam, the support price for Nepali coffee was fixed after consulting with farmers and entrepreneurs.
As per the revised price list, the price of fresh cherry that has received organic certification has been fixed at Rs83 per kg while the price of the type without certification has been fixed at Rs78 per kg.
Likewise, the price of parchment ranges between Rs400 and Rs415 per kg. Prices of dry cherry in A, B and C categories have been fixed at Rs140, Rs100 and Rs40 per kg respectively.