Ilam tea farmers are facing a shortage of workers as more youths are opting to go abroad to find employment. This has led to the tea production hub of Nepal facing increasing difficulty in hiring enough workers to pick tea leaves.
Bijay Shrestha of Danabari, Ilam spends his entire day looking after his fish farm that is spread over 15 ropanis. The workday lasts from dawn to dusk even with his family helping him, but it is a financially rewarding occupation too.
The number of small scale tea factories in the eastern Nepali district of Ilam is growing, generating more employment opportunities, albeit shortage of tea leaves is posing a threat to sustainability of these budding manufacturing units.