Conditions for growing tea in Ilam, Eastern Nepal, are comparable to those in the world-class Darjeeling tea area of India, just across the border. However, the Nepal tea brand is still being developed as constraints in productivity and processing exist. Many Nepalese tea farmers must travel for hours on foot carrying handpicked leaves to a pick-up location on a roadside or a storage structure with dirt floors. This extensive travel and storage practice degrades the quality of tea, affecting the price in end markets. The USAID-funded Nepal, Economic, Agriculture, and Trade (NEAT) Activity is helping improve the quality and productivity of Nepali tea from farm to market. For example NEAT has supported the construction or upgrading of 11 collection centers to improve the quality of tea reaching the end market. As a result of NEAT's support, more than 6,000 small tea farmers in Nepal have increased their incomes and reduced their post harvest losses. In addition, NEAT has supported tea factories to improve processing and market access.
Published: May 22, 2013