‘Rising demand with expanding coffee culture but low yield hit the product’s business’
KATHMANDU, Nov 16: Nepal’s earnings from coffee exports increased by nominal amount compared to a notable rise in the import expense in the last fiscal year, thanks to a small increment in the production volume compared to a significant increase in domestic demand.
The records with the National Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB), show that the country exported coffee worth Rs 130.441 million in the fiscal year 2022/23, up from Rs 117.085 million in the previous year. On the other hand, the import expense increased multifold, from Rs 127.590 million to Rs 325.866 million in the review period.
According to the NTCDB, Nepali coffee fetched two-three times more price compared to the ones imported in the country. “However, soaring demand mainly among youth due to increasing coffee culture while increasing production at a crawling pace has led to the widening gap between the exports and imports figures,” said Bishnu Prasad Bhattarai, executive director at the board.
Nepal is having coffee plantations on 3,655 hectares of land, an increase from 3,343 hectares in the previous year. The production of green bean coffee is 394.40 tons, an increase from 354.90 tons.
According to the NTCDB, Nepal imported around 20 percent of its total yield of coffee in the last fiscal year. Based on the quality and aroma of the Nepali produce, it is sold at a good price of around US $ 16 per kg in the international market.
“Despite having high demand for Nepali coffee in the international market, limited production is barring the country from benefiting largely from the coffee business,” said Bhattarai. “There is a need to attract the young generation in coffee plantations while attracting huge investment in the sector.”
Meanwhile, the NTCDB has fixed the price of Nepali coffee to be effective from Friday. At the revised rate, the price of fresh cherry coffee cost Rs 100 per kg at maximum. Similarly, the parchment coffee costs up to Rs 500 per kg and dry cherry is priced up to Rs 200 per kg.