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ILAM: Tea farmers in Ilam district are in mood of quitting the tea farming due to price dispute and lack of workers. Hundreds of farmers have come to this stage for lack of government support at the tea sector.
The tea farmers said that they are disappointed towards tea farming as the Tea and Coffee Development Board has very little to encourage the tea farmers for more production.
The tea farmers complained that the government has not provided them subsidized loan for tea farming. Proprietor of Gorkha Tea State Uday Chapagain said that the Indian Government provides up to 75 per cent in grant for tea farming at Darjeeling area.
He said that Nepal government also should provide grant subsidy to the farmers to promote tea farming and sustain this business. He said, “Tea factory runs nine to 10 months in Tarai areas and up to eight months in hilly regions. But, the factories remain closed rest of the time.”
In Nepal, around 15,000 farmers in Jhapa, Ilam, Panchthar, Dhankuta, Tehrathum and some other districts are engaged in tea production. According to the National Tea and Coffee Development Board, there are 14,732 tea gardens in the country.
As per the joint study carried out by the Central Bureau of Statistics and National Tea and Coffee Development Board, only five per cent farmers and tea entrepreneurs have taken loan for commercial tea farming.
Spokesperson of Board Deepak Khanal said that the Board is to provide technical support with policy-level decision for the cause of tea farmers. The Board has been providing support for promotion of tea farming as per the demand of the farmers, he added.