Demand increased due to Gorkhaland protest in Darjeeling, industrialists.
KATHMANDU, Feb 20: The five-month protest in Darjeeling has become a boon for Nepali tea industries.
Nepal's tea exports over the first six months of Fiscal Year 2017/18 grew by nearly 26 percent in terms of monetary value. And Nepali industrialists say the export grew mainly due to the Gorkhaland movement in Darjeeling, India.
Data provided by the Department of Customs (DoC) shows that the export of black tea (CTC) grew by 25.8 percent to Rs 1.99 billion in the first half of FY207/18. In the review period of the last fiscal year, Nepal had exported tea worth Rs 1.59 billion only. In the first six months of 2015/16, Nepal had exported black tea worth Rs 1.25 billion.
According to the department, Nepal exported 9.14 million kilograms of black tea to different countries in the first half of FY2017/18. This number hovered around 7.93 million kilograms in the past fiscal year, which means, there has been an increase of black tea export by 15.25 percent in terms of weight. Export volume was 8.19 million kilograms in the first six months of FY2017/18, compared to 7.93 million kilograms in the review period of the last fiscal year.
Talking to Republica, Suresh Kumar Agrawal, president of Nepal Tea Planters Association, said that the demand for Nepali CTC has increased by more than a quarter primarily due to increased production in addition to the Gorkhaland movement in Darjeeling. “While the Nepali speakers residing in Darjeeling fought for their rights and protested for five months, the Nepali farmers were busy planting and taking care of their tea plants. Due to this very reason, there has been a steep fall in tea production in India which contributed to export growth,” he added.
Though export of black tea has increased, data shows green tea exports declined by 14.35 percent in the first six months of FY2017/18. Data shows Nepal exported Rs 41.45 million worth of green tea in the first half of FY2017/8, down from Rs 48.4 million in the same period of FY 2016/17. In the same period of FY2015/16, Nepal had exported green tea worth Rs 37.94 million.
According to the department, India, Russia, Germany, China and the United Arab Emirates are the top five importers on Nepali black tea while that for green tea are Germany, India, the US, France and Japan.