Tea farmers in Ilam district are in the mood to quit tea farming due to price dispute and lack of workers.

Hundreds of farmers have come to this point due to lack of government support to the tea farming sector.

Tea farmers said they were disappointed as the Tea and Coffee Development Board had done very little to encourage tea farmers to produce more. They complained the government had not provided them subsidised loan for farming.

Proprietor of Gorkha Tea State Uday Chapagain said the Indian government provided up to 75 per cent in grant to tea farmers in Darjeeling and surrounding areas. He said the Nepal government also should provide grant subsidy to farmers to promote tea farming and sustain this business.

He said, “Tea factories run for 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 a study, only five per cent farmers and tea entrepreneurs took loan for tea farming.

A version of this article appears in print on November 06, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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