Nepali coffee makes its presence felt

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Nepali coffee makes its presence felt

Mar 31, 2015-

Nepali coffee producers have been striving for a bigger slice of the action with improved packaging, processing and marketing of their products. Traders said that sales had been growing as more Nepalis were drinking coffee.

Royal Himalaya, Royal Everest, Highland, Himalayan Java, Annapurna Organic, Morning Fresh, Lalitpur Organic Coffee, Johnny Gurkha Blend Coffee and Jalpa Gold are some of the domestic coffee brands sold in the market.

“More and more people are going for Nepali coffee as local producers have been maintaining quality,” said Krishna Ghimire, vice-president of the Coffee Producer’s Association. According to him, demand for coffee in the domestic market has been rising at the rate of 25 percent annually.

“We sold 125 tonnes of coffee last year, up from 100 tonnes in the previous year,” said Ghimire who is also the chairman of Highland Coffee. Highland sells roasted coffee under the brand names of Him Café and Neko Coffee in the domestic market. Highland coffee costs from Rs1,350 to Rs1,450 per kg. Likewise, Himalayan Java, which produces six varieties of coffee under three categories, namely medium roast, dark roast and light roast, sells its products from its own coffee houses and dealership network.

“A few years ago, only foreign tourists used to buy Nepali coffee, but lately the number of Nepali coffee drinkers has shot up,” said Ram Sharan Phuyal, operation manager of Himalayan Java. A 300 gm packet of  Himalayan Java coffee costs Rs300 while a 450 gm packet costs Rs800.

Although the consumption of coffee has grown over the years, the production has not risen accordingly. In fact, it has dropped. According to the Nepal Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB), output shrank to 366 tonnes in the last fiscal year from 418 tonnes in the previous year.

Prem Acharya, chief planning officer of the NTCDB, said that the government had planned to provide 265,000 plants to coffee farmers free of cost in a bid to increase production. “We have distributed 600,000 plants in various districts. So we expect a rise in production this year,” he said.

According to the board, Gulmi, Palpa, Arghakhanchi, Lalitpur, Tanahu, Kavre, Sindhupalchok, Lamjung, Kaski, Gorkha, Syangja, Parbat and Baglung are the major coffee producing districts in the country. Coffee farming is done on 1,900 hectares.

Published: 01-04-2015 08:57

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