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Suryadaya Municipality fixes the floor price for tea leaves

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A group of women are picking up tea sprouts in a plantation at Sunderpani.

Kathmandu, May 7, 2018: The floor price for tea leaves has been fixed for the first time in the country. Suryadaya Municipality in Illam has fixed the floor price of tea leaves at Rs 40. This move is expected to boost the spirit of farmers who were disappointed by the price previously.

One of highest yielders of orthodox tea in the district, it is the first time that the floor price has been fixed by the Municipality. The Tea and Coffee Development Board has also helped the municipality to determine the floor price, it is learned.

Although the price could reach up to Rs 100 per kg during the peak harvest period, it would go as low as Rs 20 per kg during the monsoon. The floor price will now be effective throughout the year and the farmers are motivated to keep their production as high as possible, they said.

“The objective of fixing the floor price is to ensure that farmers get reasonable price.” said Rana Bahadur Rai, Mayor of Suryadaya Municipality. He also added that a code of conduct will be issued and the implementation will be well monitored.

According to Om Kafle, manager at Panchakanya Ilam Tea Producers, they have been paying farmers the price based on the sales price they get. He also added that the price was fixed without analyzing the market and only production was considered. But Indra Adhikari, from the Tea and Coffee Development Board said that once the standard is enforced, the farmers will get reasonable price for their production.

He also added that the move is aimed at ensuring reasonable price for farmers and also increase the quality of the products.

According to the statistics from the board, nearly 5,000 tonnes of orthodox tea produced in Illam are sold in India alone.