On 6th March 2017, the European Commission awarded a new project – “HAMRO COFFEE- Expanding Opportunities for Nepalese Coffee Farmers and Traders” to ICCO in Nepal, which responds to major constraints in the local coffee sector, and contributes to the Government of Nepal’s efforts to reduce poverty and stimulate trade-led economic growth by strengthening trade competitiveness in the country.
In the next two years, ICCO, along with the consortium partners Centre for Environmental and Agricultural Policy, Research, Extension and Development (CEAPRED) and Nepal Coffee Producers Association (NCPA), will work in six districts with coffee producers to enhance the quality and quantity of coffee cherries produced through improved farming techniques and affordable access to quality inputs and services, thereby providing the means for a sustainable income for 4000 smallholder farmers directly. Primary processing facilities will be upgraded to ensure quality of green beans produced leading to increased demand of unique Nepalese specialty coffee in the domestic and international niche market.
Partnerships and guidance
The project will also engage with important national institutions like Nepal Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) and Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) to forge stronger partnerships and collaboration for the promotion of coffee export and implementation of the National Coffee logo. Additionally, new coffee trails will be promoted in partnership with stakeholders of the tourism sector to develop coffee tourism in Nepal, while new coffee entrepreneurs will receive expert guidance and support to establish coffee outlets in emerging touristic towns, all with the end goal of promoting awareness and demand of the Nepalese specialty coffee.
Currently, coffee is grown in 42 districts of Nepal and coffee farming is increasingly attractive to marginalized smallholder farmers as it can be grown in steep terrain, where other cereal or cash crops cannot be grown, while also giving a higher rate of returns. Concurrently, the 1760 ha of land where coffee is grown today, represents only 0.17% of the total potential production area in Nepal. HAMRO COFFEE aims to bridge the gap between the potential rewards and current productivity of the sub-sector by creating an enabling environment for the key stakeholders across the coffee-value chain to form a sustainable, well-managed and integrated coffee production.
The formal joint-launching for the project has been planned for May 03, together with Good Neighbours International consortium, the second recipient of the EU call, in the presence of the EU delegation, key stakeholders, partner organizations and representatives of the coffee farmer cooperatives, traders and producers group in Kathmandu.