By Kokila Dhakal,Ilam, Apr. 16: The news that Nepali tea has secured a ‘gold medal’ in China has stirred up the tea sector, and the demand for Nepali tea from foreign countries has started to grow.
As the tea season is starting, foreign traders have started coming to the Nepali industry. Industrialists said that the foreign market of Nepali tea, which has been slowed down by the COVID-19 for the last three years, is reviving again.
Last month, in the quality test of ‘Black Tea’ by the Tea Marketing Association of China, after ‘Pearl Golden Tea’ prepared by Tinjure Cooperative of Ilam came first, this result has also drawn the attention of foreign tea lovers to Nepali tea.
Sharad Subba, owner of Ilam-based Jasbire Tea Processing Industry, who has been supplying ready-made tea to China, said that the demand for Nepali tea this year has increased and local production could not meet the demand.
“Demand for tea is good in China. Chinese traders are coming with money,’’ Subba said. “There is a demand for 20,000 kilograms of Nepali special tea. We cannot supply tea in that quantity.”
He said that only 1,500 kilos of special tea is produced in his industry.
To make ‘Golden Pearl and Silver Tea’ as demanded from China, only one needle and one needle with one leaf is required.
Subba explained that this type of tea is prepared by rolling such green leaves at a proper temperature by different machines.
“Especially there are many consumers of special tea such as Golden, Golden Pearl, and Silver in China,” Subba said. “This year, we feel a little easier to export tea to China.”
Uday Chapagain, owner of Gorkha Tea Estate located in Suryodaya Municipality, who has been producing organic tea for years, said that the demand for Nepali ready-made tea was high and difficult to supply as per the demand.
“It is a significant achievement for Nepali tea to secure six gold medals and four silver ones in the quality test held in China.
After that, Nepali tea caught the attention of foreigners.”
“Nepali tea can significantly contribute in the economy if we supply quality tea as per the demand from international market.
But we lag behind due to focus on quantity rather than quality,” he said.
Stating that National Tea and Coffee Development Board has been trying to make a trade agreement with China on the matter of supplying tea, he said that only the signatures on the draft prepared for the trade agreement are left.
Dr. Bishnu Prasad Bhattarai, executive director of the Board, said, “We will soon forward that agreement and explore other markets for Nepali tea.”
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