With growing demand for coffee and a coffee farming sector which can’t keep up with the demand, good news comes from Nepal. The World Bank is giving Nepal’s coffee farmers $35,000 to raise production and enhance organic coffee quality. Kriti Bhuju reported this week the program will involve formation of farmers’ groups, provision of technical training, support formation and more. At least 100,000 coffee trees are supposed to be planted. Farmers are to receive a moisture meter, training through visiting other areas, and other programs. In addition, an unrelated coffee development organization plans to plant a million coffee saplings every year and increase the hectares of land for coffee farms by 2000 hectares a year from 2012.Nepal is currently producing about a tenth of the country’s demand of 4000 tons a year. If estimates of 60,000 hectares suitable for growing coffee are correct, it will take about thirty years to maximize the use of the land. Nepal has some of the most beautiful and picturesque landscape in the world, being located on the majestic Himalayan range. Coffee is now being grown in the foothills of this range. The main varieties grown include mostly Bourbon with some Typica and a lesser amount of the Pacamara varietal. Coffee was a more major crop a few hundred years ago until a coffee rust disease caused widespread devastation. The farmers replaced the coffee crops with tea. With the current growth in demand and incredible rise in prices, the motivation is there for farmers to replant coffee plants. The growing conditions are conducive to organic practices, another positive factor. So even though the news from many of the world’s coffee producers is not so good, with many sectors reporting lower production due to poor weather, it’s good to know there are still acres of land waiting for coffee to be planted. It won’t help much in the short run but in the long run, Nepal should be a strong player in the coffee producing world.
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