A farmer plucks cherries from a coffee tree in Nalang of Dhading (Sarita Shrestha/Republica)
DHADING, April 16: Farmers in Nalang of Dhading are busy plucking cherries from coffee tree in their farm.
Coffee production has been seeing a remarkable growth in this part of Dhading in recent years. Thanks to bumper harvest, a single coffee processing firm in the district exported coffee worth Rs 50 million in FY2016/17.
Himalayan On-top Organic Coffee Farm exported coffee worth Rs 50 million to Norway, according to Neelkantha Regmi of Himalayan On-top Organic Coffee Farm. “The farm, which was established five year ago, has started producing quality beans. This has not only increased employment opportunities for local farmers, but also made the farmers excited,” he added.
Local farmers have planted 52,000 plants across 250 ropani of land in Nalang. Of them, 18,000 plants have started bearing fruits.
“We exported 11 tons of coffee to Norway last year,” Regmi said, adding: “As the demand is increasing with every passing year, we have to grow production accordingly.”
The farm employs 14 full-time employers and over 50 seasonal staffers. Himalayan On-Top is selling coffee directly from the farm at Rs 4,000 per kg. It has also opened a resort amid coffee gardens with the objective of offering something different to its clients.
As the area has been designated as pocket area for coffee farming, the government offers different incentives to farmers. This includes trainings, and distribution of seed and saplings along with essential equipment from the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO). Although 20,000 kilograms of coffee was produced in the district in FY2016/17, DADO officials say that production will double in the current fiscal year.
Although coffee farming is relatively new to Dhading folks, many farmers are becoming attracted toward this cash crop. Coffee farming has become a dependable source of income generation for local farmers. This cash crop is becoming popular among farmers of Nalang, Salang and Kampur, among others. With the rise in demand for organic coffee, many farmers have started pursuing coffee farming.
Nalang is also getting tourists, thanks to its beautiful coffee gardens. The resort is sparing no effort to promote tourism in the area. Locals are also trying their best to turn the area into a tourist destination.