Tea farm at Nigalpani of Nilkantha Rural Municipality, Dhading. Photo: Sarita Shrestha/Republica
DHADING, July 25: Commercial tea farming has begun in Dhading district for the first time. Local farmers have started cultivating tea in Ward 9 of Nilkantha Rural Municipality.
“We have started utilizing the barren land after getting two-day training about tea farming and field visit to Ilam in eastern Nepal,” said farmer Aitimaya Shakya.
To explore tea farming, five youths, led by Ward Chairman Bhoj Bahadur Regmi, had recently visited Ilam. After the field study, they concluded that Nilkantha Rural Municipality was suitable for tea farming.
The land that remained barren for long, has come to use due to the starting of tea farming, which is expected to raise the income of local people. In the first phase, cultivation has been started in 300 ropanis of land.
“These days, the number of farmers is decreasing in the district and a lot of land has remained barren. We have started tea farming after doing soil testing,” Regmi said.
A total 12 thousand tea seeds were distributed to the farmers interested to cultivate tea. The rural municipality has also provided Rs 300,000 to each farmer to purchase additional seeds. The rural municipality said that this year, less seeds were distributed due to shortage. From the next year, one million seeds will be distributed, according to Ward Chairman Regmi.
The rural municipality has also been constructing a view tower at Nigalpani. Tea cultivation and construction of the view tower is expected to attract domestic tourists in the Nigalpani area.
To develop and promote tea farming in a commercial way, locals have proposed doing it through a cooperative organization.