Laxmi Capital News
Ilam farmers not getting right price for green leaves Study

ILAM : Costof production of green tea leaves in Suryodaya Municipality of Ilam is Rs 37.31per kilogram, a recent study conducted by Nepal Tea and Coffee DevelopmentBoard shows.
The board had conducted the study together with Suryodaya Municipalityfollowing complaints from farmers that return from tea farming is minimalcompared to high investment.

The study concluded that cost of production of greenleaves, which includes cost of fertilizers, harvesting, wage of workers, andbank loans, among others, exceeds the amount that farmers get by selling greenleaves to industries.

Though farmers get as much as Rs 90 per kg for leavesplucked during first flush, price falls to as low as Rs 25 per kg in otherplucking seasons. Due to such a huge difference in price of green leaves duringfirst and usual harvests, farmers have not been able to recover theirinvestment. 
According to Bivek Bhandari, agro technician with the board, average cost ofproduction was deducted by calculating all the investments that farmers makeuntil harvesting.

Rana Bahadur Rai, mayor of Suryodaya Municipality, saidit was worrying to note that farmers are earning far less than what they investin tea farming. "It is clear that farmers are suffering loss," Raisaid, adding that the municipality has been telling tea industries to ensurethat farmers do not face loss while producing green leaves.

The municipality aims to support farmers by fixing aminimum support price of green leaves. It is preparing to make a framework incoordination with both industrialists and farmers to fix minimum support priceof tea leaves. According to Rai, the framework is likely to come into forcefrom mid-June. 

The municipality is preparing to form a sub-committee toprepare the framework.
According to Rai, more than 8,000 small and big tea farmers and 50 teaprocessing plants in the municipality will directly benefit from the framework.

"After conducting the survey, we have come to aconclusion that farmers should get at least Rs 40 per kg to recoup theirinvestment," Rai added. "Small-scale industries have already agreedto fix price of green leaves at around Rs 40 per kg. We are hopeful of forgingconsensus with large-scale processing plants on our proposal," he added.

The municipality is also forming a committee to monitorwhether or not tea processing plants are implementing the minimum supportprice. "The committee will have representation of farmers, tea industries,representatives of board and local units. We are hopeful that every party willsupport the plan to enforce minimum support plan as it will be beneficial forall," Rai added.

Suryodaya Municipality is the capital of team farming inthe country. Farmers here produce eight different varieties of tea.

Source: My Republica, 8th May 2018

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