NTCDB to offer subsidy to coffee farmers

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
NTCDB to offer subsidy to coffee farmers

Mar 1, 2015-

National Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) has initiated the process to provide subsidy to coffee producers. The board has earmarked Rs 4.5 million for the purpose.

NTCDB Executive Director Raman Prasad Pathak said the support aims at increasing coffee production amid growing demand in both domestic and international markets.“Compared to the demand of 2,500-3,000 tonnes a year, the current production stands at just 500 tonnes,” said Pathak.

The board, through a public notice on Sunday, has called for application from individual farmers, coffee cooperatives and related institutes to claim the facility. Pathak said the farmers/groups that apply for the plantation of coffee saplings would get 50 percent of the costs as grant. According to NTCDB, farmers planting at least 10,000 saplings would be considered for the 50 percent grant support.

The board also plans to provide full subsidy to nursery operators. NTCDB provides seeds and logistic supports, including hut construction, plastic and watering device, free of cost.

Pathak said they have procured 2-3 quintals of high-quality seeds out of an estimated requirement of 4-5 quintals. He said a nursery enjoying the grants should sell the saplings at subsidised rates to farmers.

On an average, a sampling for re-plantation is ready in one and half years. “We are preparing a working guideline for nursery operators,” he said.

Earlier, NTCDB used to provide only Rs 200,000-400,000 to coffee producers annually. But amid surging demand from international markets, the board has taken the latest move. “We have included coffee promotion in our annual programme for this year,” he said.

Through the programme, the board targets to increase the coffee plantation area to 5,000 hectares in 3-4 years from the existing 1,900 hectares. A sapling once planted starts production in 3.5-4 years.

Farmers/groups applying for the grant should submit a detailed project plan along with a recommendation letter of the District Agriculture Office. After receiving proposal, the board carries out a field visit for a feasibility study before providing the support.

Pathak said they would develop an effective monitoring mechanism to check possible misuse of the funds. “We are forming a monitoring team at both central and district-level, which will include representatives from District Agriculture Offices, Nepal Coffee Producers’ Association, Central Cooperatives Association and coffee entrepreneurs,” Pathak said.

The US, European Union, Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden, South Korea, Japan and Canada are major importers of Nepali coffee.

Gulmi, Palpa, Arghakhanchi, Lalitpur, Tanahu, Kavre, Sindhupalchok, Lamjung, Kaski, Gorkha, Syangja, Parbat and Baglung are major coffee producing districts. According to the board, more than 30,543 farmers in 40 districts are engaged in coffee production.

Published: 02-03-2015 08:46

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