First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: In the last fiscal year, Nepal witnessed a nominal increase in earnings from coffee exports, reaching Rs 130.441 million compared to Rs 117.085 million the previous year. However, the import expenses experienced a multifold rise, soaring from Rs 127.590 million to Rs 325.866 million during the same period.
Records from the National Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) reveal that the slight uptick in production volume, coupled with a substantial surge in domestic demand, contributed to this financial dynamic.
Nepali coffee commanded a premium price two to three times higher than imported varieties, yet the burgeoning domestic appetite, particularly among the youth, has led to a widening gap between export and import figures, as noted by Bishnu Prasad Bhattarai, Executive Director at the board.
Despite an increase in coffee plantations covering 3,655 hectares of land (up from 3,343 hectares in the previous year) and a rise in green bean coffee production to 394.40 tons (from 354.90 tons), Nepal imported approximately 20 percent of its total coffee yield in the last fiscal year. The quality and aroma of Nepali coffee fetch a good price of around US $16 per kg in the international market.
Bhattarai emphasized the need to attract the younger generation to coffee plantations and secure substantial investments in the sector to leverage the high demand for Nepali coffee globally.
To address the challenges, the NTCDB has introduced revised prices effective from Friday, setting the maximum prices at Rs 100 per kg for fresh cherry coffee, up to Rs 500 per kg for parchment coffee, and up to Rs 200 per kg for dry cherry.
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