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Coffee in Nepal is has started not very long ago . But due to the high altitude and the organic  value, Coffee in Nepal has gained popularity in very few time for its unique flavor and the cheap cost. Here are the result of the research on the Coffee in Nepal.

Coffee of Nepal

  1.  Introduction  
2.  Species and cultivars
3.  Farming methods
4.  Growing season
5.  Coffee growing
6.  Use of Coffee & Markets
7.  Quality of Nepal Coffee
8.  Problems of Coffee farmers
     
Coffee Plant

1.  Introduction

 

Coffee is one of the important beverage crops of mid hills of Nepal where the small farmers are living. The altitude of the mid hills ranges from 1000 to 2000 meter from the sea level. However, the Coffee growing areas in the hills are located from 800 to 1500 meter from the sea level. The Coffee is grown as rainfed crops in upland where other annual crops are not well suitable.

Coffee Plant
The small farmers who cannot afford too much investment in other agriculture and fruit crops grow a few Coffee plants in their garden as an source of cash income. Coffee grown by these small farmers received very little organic manure produced from animals kept by them. Chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, etc. are not applied at all even if insects problems are seen because these small farmers are very poor and they do not have sprayer and other tools to spray chemicals and they do not buy the chemicals. So, these Coffee are organic produced.
 

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Picking Coffee

2. Species and cultivars

Growing Coffee
Among the Arabic and Robust, the Arabic is the common species grown by the farmers of Nepal and all the Coffee plants are local cultivars though small variation in the plants, fruits characters are existed. The Coffee plants are raised by seed and individual farmers raised the seedling by themselves for their own need although there are private nurseries who produce the Coffee saplings.
 

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3.   Farming methods

 
 

Small and poor farmers of the hills mainly women farmers are the Coffee growers. However, they are not the big orchardists or commercial growers but they are subsistence farmers. Their main crop is the cereal crops like wheat, maize, rice, finger millet, etc. and Coffee is the only income generating crop for them because there is no other opportunities of income generation.

 
 

As early described, most of the farmers raised the seedling by themselves and 1.5 to 2 years seedling are planted in their kitchen garden during June to August of rainy season months.

 
Coffee Plant

The pit of small size (1.5 X 1.5 X 1.5 feet) is dug and small amount of animal manures are placed in the pots and seedlings are planted. Weeding and hocing are carried out as and when needed.

Coffee Plant

Coffee are usually raised as inter crop within the fodder trees or other fruit trees or forest trees for shade wherever possible. Coffee plants produce fruits from 4 years of planting and berry yield increases with increase in the age of plants. Generally, the yield of ripen berry per plant ranges from 5 to 40 kg. The berry is harvested many times, which is 4-9 times a season. The season of harvest starts from November to January. The picking of fruit is carried out by women farmers.

 

The berry after harvest is fermented in the containers and pulps are extracted through washing. The bean after depulping are dried in natural sum light. These raw bean without further processing are sold.

 
 

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4.  Growing season

 
 

Coffee is a prennial crop but produces fruits/berries after four years of sapling planting and berries are produced once in a year. However, once, it starts producing fruits, it goes beyond 15 years, which is the regular source of income for poor farmers. One of the important aspects of this crop is that the harvesting time of fruit is coincides with the lean periods of farm work for farmer means Coffee picking etc. activities utilize the unused time of the year of the women farmers.

 
 

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5.  Coffee growing

 
 

Although Coffee is grown in 49 districts out of 75 districts. However, our Coffee growing areas are remote villages of Lalitpur district where farmers are very poor and there is no any other income generating opportunities in these villages. These are very far from city. It takes about 4 days walk from Kathmandu. The altitude of our Coffee growing village ranges from 800 to 1500 Meter.

 
 

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Coffee Plant

6. Use of Coffee & Markets

Coffee Plant

Coffee is not a popular drink in Nepal and it has no other alternative uses as well. Though small market in recent years has been gradually increasing, the production is still surplus.  It is, therefore, external market is essential for promotion of Coffee among small farmers of the hills. It has been reported that small quantity of Coffee is also exported to some countries and results are very encouraging. However, it needs further strengthening of external markets.

 

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 7. Quality of Nepal Coffee

 
Coffee

Though bean yield per plant is low compared to the yield of Coffee bean in many developing countries, the quality is very high and is also appreciated by many Coffee consumers and importers from Nepal due to following reasons:

Washing Coffee Beans

·        Beans are generally medium in size, but they are pure attractive and natural. They are also free from chemicals, diseases and pests. It is, hence, Nepal Coffee bean is organic.

·        Coffee is grown by small women farmers of the hills, hence, all the activities related to bean is carried out by women farmers. These women farmers are hard worker, sincere and honest but they are poor. So, Coffee bean produced by them is not mixed or adultered.

·        The uses of imported and modern machines are not used for carrying out the bean production activities. All the small tools, equipments, etc. are used of local made.

·        Chemical treatments, processing bean policing, etc. are not done. They are only naturally dried.

·        Coffee beans are produced in the hills of Nepal where the night temperature from flowering to fruiting does not exceed the 16-19oC, the altitude of our Coffee growing areas ranges from 800 to 1500 meters from the sea levels thus beans are of excellent quality compared to Coffee grown other countries of the world. Similarly the quality of Coffee produced at 800 meter in Nepal is far better than the Coffee produced at 1200 meter altitude areas of Coffee growing areas of the world. However, all the Coffee growing areas of our village lies between 1000 to 1500 meters from the see lever. Hence, Coffee bean produced in this range of temperature are aromatic and tasty.

 

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 8. Problems of Coffee farmers

 
Coffee Beans

·         Animal's manures are used to manure the Coffee plants. Chemical fertilizers and other chemicals like pesticides, fungicides, etc. are not applied, hence, the bean yield is low compared to chemicals used Coffee plant in other countries.

 

·         The limited markets and low market price have discouraged the small farmers of the hills.

·         These small Coffee growers will be motivated provided sustainable markets and premium price for organic beans are made. This will not only increase the household income of women farmers but also will be helpful for reducing their poverty.

 

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Compiled by NepalRHD, researched by Nepal Agricultural & Foresty Pvt. Ltd.