The Kathmandu Post, Post Report, 1st May 2017, Kathmandu
Nepal’s tea exports jumped 19 percent to reach a record 13,289 tonnes in the last fiscal year due to promotional efforts launched in key markets.
According to the statistics of the National Tea and Coffee Development Board, tea shipments were worth Rs2.40 billion in 2015-16, up from Rs2 billion in the previous year.
Sheshkanta Gautam, executive director of the board, said that efforts made to promote Nepali tea in international markets had helped the growth.
He added that product publicity campaigns were launched through Nepal’s embassies in Pakistan, China and the UK. “Moreover, Nepali tea has been promoted through global trade fairs and exhibitions.” Gautam said that product branding and quality assurance also attracted new and regular buyers.
The board said that the number of Chinese buyers had swelled immensely. “Demand for Nepali tea from China has soared, but we are unable to produce adequate amounts,” said Gautam.
A number of Chinese traders have also been involved in promoting Nepali tea in several countries including Australia, he added.
Gautam said that the board was planning to enforce the use of Nepal Tea, the collective trade mark that Nepali tea had received two years ago. “We were unable to enforce the trade mark due to lack of a code of conduct.”
He added that the code of conduct was going through the validation process. “As soon as it is validated, we will begin distributing the collective trade mark to exporters.”
Nepal produces two types of tea—CTC and orthodox. Almost 90 percent of the orthodox tea is exported to third countries. Germany, India, Japan and South Korea are the key buyers of Nepali orthodox tea.
Along with exports, tea production also increased by 4.65 percent to 24,263 tonnes in the last fiscal year. The total area under tea grew to 27,688 hectares from 26,165 hectares during the review period.
Jhapa is the main tea producing district. Tea is grown on 11,443 hectares in Jhapa district which produces more than 18,000 tonnes of tea annually.
As per the board, farmers in Bhojpur, Ramechhap, Baglung and Nuwakot have been drawn towards growing tea in recent years.
Gautam said that tea produced in Nuwakot had been gaining popularity of late. “Handmade tea fetches Rs4,000-5,000 per kg in tourist areas like Thamel,” he said.
Fiscal Year Plantation area Production Export
(Hectare) (Tonnes) (Rs billion)
2015-16 27,688 24,263 2.4
2014-15 26,165 23,186 2.0
2013-14 20,120 21,076 2.02
2012-13 19,036 20,588 2.04
2011-12 18,149 18,309 1.62