On 24th May 2018, ICCO Cooperation organized a ‘Coffee Symposium’ which brought together diverse stakeholders to discuss the way forward for a sustainable and prosperous future for Nepali Speciality coffee. Over 120 people including small-holder coffee farmers, processors, traders, entrepreneurs, representatives from government agencies, financial institutions, policy makers, impact investors, and development practitioners joined the event.
Potential of Nepali Speciality Coffee
Nepali Speciality Coffee has a unique image globally, because of its exotic origin in the Himalayas. Coffee farming is an income source for over 30,000 farmers in Central and Western Nepal. Traders, researchers and organizations affirm the sector’s potential to greatly contribute towards economic growth and improved livelihood opportunities of coffee farmers, while acknowledging that the sector’s stakeholders need to work closely together in improving production and quality.
The Coffee Symposium was a common platform for all relevant stakeholders to discuss how they can together move past existing barriers and bottlenecks. They also discussed how to accelerate domestic and international trade to boost revenues and to improve the livelihoods of coffee farmers in Nepal.
The Symposium included two moderated panel discussions – first on ‘Strengthening the Coffee Value Chain: from Farm to Cup’ and second on ‘Enabling Coffee Sector Development: Policy and Investment’.
Mr. Nima Sherpa, founder of Lekali Coffee commented that buyers are surprised by the price of coffee when they come to Nepal. Nepali coffee is expensive to produce because of the nature of the terrain. This is the reason why quality is important.
Mr. Sheshkanta Gautam, Executive Director of Nepal Tea Coffee and Development Board (NTCDB) highlighted that with the new government structure in Nepal, (rural) municipalities should be brought onboard to promote coffee and lobby on a grassroots level. The NTCDB can advise on suitable locations for coffee production, based on GIS mapping, enabling people on the local level to tap into the potential of Nepali coffee production.
Mr. Andreas Roettger, Head of Cooperation at Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Nepal delivered remarks and shared that because of the sector’s promising potential in Nepal, the EU has embarked on a coffee journey to promote inclusive economic growth.
The event also provided a show-case for products and services of interest to the attendees of the Symposium through a coffee exhibition.