Ilam: First picking of tealeaves for this season has kicked off. First harvesting tealeaves known as the ‘first fall’ is considered the best of all.
Tea entrepreneur Som Sharma from Deumai rural municipality said this year the production was expected to go up.
“We were worried as there was no rainfall on time, but the rain last week had provided some respite. This year the price of Nepali tea in the international market is good. The first harvesting season of tealeaves normally begins in the third week of March. The production is likely to increase when there is rainfall since the last week of February. Tea farmers here are largely dependent on rain-fed farming in absence of reliable source of irrigation,” he said.
At present, a kilogramme tea fetches Rs 100 in the market against Rs 95 last year.
Another tea entrepreneur Uday Chapagain suggests an idea of harvesting rainfall for use in winter to increase production. As he said, tea production cost has increased because of a rise in the airfare due to Coronavirus. He complained that the government was not serious about the export of agro-products.
The Suryodaya municipality here has urged tea entrepreneurs to provide fair price of green tealeaves to farmers, responding to complaints that farmers have been denied appropriate price of green tealeaves. In a bid to set price uniformity, the municipality two years ago has brought the Tea Production Standards Implementation Procedure. According to the tea production standards, minimum price of green tealeaves has been set at Rs 40 per kilogram.