Coffee plantation on nearly 10,000 hectares of land in Nagaland

Kohima: The Nagaland Government in collaboration with Coffee Board is undertaking a coffee plantation on nearly 10,000 hectares of land and organic coffee grown in the northeastern state is now being exported to countries in Europe and the Middle East, an official said. .

About 8,412.49 hectares of land is covered by the Arabica coffee plantation and 1,419.7 hectares by the Robusta coffee plantation, the official said.

The state government has set a target to cover 50,000 hectares of land by 2030, he said.

Since Nagaland has microclimatic conditions, the soil is very suitable for coffee, the official said.

The coffee plantation was first started in Nagaland in the early 1990s, but it was not a success back then as there was no business connection with the project, the official said.

In October 2014, the Nagaland government took over the revival of coffee plantations across the state with Land Resources Development (LRD) as the nodal agency and now organic coffee grown in this mountainous state is being exported, said the additional director of LRD, Albert Ngullie.

Kohima district has the highest land cover of 2649.69 hectares while Zunheboto district has 1025.9 hectares of land under organic coffee plantations.

“Our goal is to make it a successful plantation and the farmers must benefit from it,” he said.

As part of the post-COVID-19 economic recovery plan supported by the North Eastern Council (NEC), 360 coffee pulping machines have been purchased and distributed across the state.

The pulper looks after about 1,000 hectares of coffee farm clusters in the state that are on the threshold of cherry production, he said.

The LRD carries out coffee plantation activities with the support of the state government and NABARD, while technical and managerial support has come from the Coffee Board, he said, adding that even the seeds are produced. from nurseries certified by the Coffee Board.

The Coffee Board supports the department by providing training to farmers and also organizing exposure trips to other states, he said, adding that the Coffee Board has also supported coffee growers with government grants through through direct benefit transfers.

LRD Co-Director Banchamo Ngullie said planting, quality production and market links were being reviewed by the department.

In order to transform the economy of the state and reduce poverty, coffee is the alternative and for this, the government must allocate sufficient budget under state funds, he said.

LRD (Coffee) Project Manager Dr. Menuosietuo Tseikha said the department takes utmost care in providing quality coffee beans and ensuring reasonable market prices for coffee growers.

While the department is engaged in expanding coffee growing areas, it said it is also engaged with Nagaland Coffee, which exports the state’s coffee product to international markets.

The LRD is not only engaged in the promotion of coffee growers, but it also extends the training of baristas to promote coffee-based entrepreneurship among educated unemployed youth. He also helps establish cafes across the state.

The Deputy Director of the Coffee Board, Jorhat, Assam, PP Chaudhury, said the Board had supported around 400 coffee farmers in a year covering around 200 hectares of land.

It also provides market linkages by bringing in players from various parts of the country, he said.

The Coffee Board has programs such as providing seedlings to raise nurseries and infrastructural support during harvest, he said, adding that to help growers get better prices, it also engages stakeholders. private to the state.

Although Nagaland’s production is limited, the coffee quality is “very good” and meets the international standard, Chaudhury said while appreciating LRD Nagaland in its efforts to promote coffee plantation in the state.

Owner of Nagaland Coffee Pvt Ltd, Vivito Yeptho, who is also a certified barista himself, said he started venturing into coffee through Dr Pieter Vermeulen from South Africa and that it had made the first export in 2017 with only 4 tons while the highest was 11 tons per season.

It is slowly picking up now, but during the COVID-19 pandemic there has been no activity as the company strives to export at least 20 tonnes of coffee by 2023, he said. .

Stating that Nagaland coffee is recognized among the best in the world, he also pointed out that Nagaland coffee won the silver plate at the third annual Aurora International Taste Challenge, held in September 2021 in South Africa. South.

Yeptho said Nagaland coffee is exported to countries like South Africa, Bahrain, Dubai, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and also Southeast Asia.

Nagaland Coffee Private Limited is the sole exporter of Nagaland coffee. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nagaland government to distribute and export Nagaland coffee overseas.

Ete Coffee Roasters founder Lichan Humstoe said coffee has the potential to revolutionize Nagaland’s economy and improve the standard of living for farmers.

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