Sunday, January 29, 2012

Coffee Training For Farmers

Organic coffee plantation training for farmers was held in Upardang Gadi on January 23 and 24, 2012. Kulchandra Adhikari, professional coffee trainer and farmer of Begnas, Kaski conducted the training in Upardang Gadi Primary School for some 36 farmers of Gadi and its surrounding villages.

Organic Coffee Project, initiated by Books for Nepal and Soleil-Vert (France), intends to do the trial plantation initially in Upardang Gadi that aims commercial coffee farming for economic development of the region.


The objectives of the training are: 1) to understand the appropriate environment for coffee plantation 2) to understand the management of coffee plantation for greater production 3) to produce high qualiy organic coffee for commercial sale 4) to be able to make/manage big coffee garden 5) to work in group/cooperative for economic benefit of poor families 6) to conserve soil and environment with creation of organic coffee gardens and promoting culture of organic farming 7) to utilize the barren lands.
Participants were informed about the background of coffee, different variety of coffee and required environmental conditions for coffee plants. They also came to know how to plant coffee seedlings and how to manage the coffee garden. They were much enthusiastic to learn the economic aspects of the coffee. Trainer informed them that Nepali organic coffee is of high demand everywhere. He estimated that some 100 plants could earn at least NPR 20,000. Farmers can make additional income by growing other cash crops in coffee garden: spices (turmeric, ginger, onion etc.) and fruits (banana, orange, guava etc.). In the hills, people mostly involve with traditional cultivation of maize, millet, buckwheat, mustard, lentils and seasonal vegetables. They use these produces for their own use but sadly the yield is not sufficient for a whole year for many families. Coffee farming would help them to generate much needed cash.
 

Kulchandra found that environment of Upardang Gadi is perfect for coffee plantation and it should yield quality coffee. But much effort from farmers is prerequisite for initial years. He suggested farmers to plant coffee seedlings near their houses and cattle sheds so that plants get enough manure and families also could take good care of young plants. These plants are vulnerable to severe cold of first winter. Little shed for each seedling is needed to protect them from cold. Coffee plants should also be protected from cattle. Trainer also taught how to make bordo mixture and bordo paste using lime, copper sulphate and water, and how to use them. These are regarded organic pesticides to protect plants from cold, diseases and insects.
Sprinkling bordo mixture in coffee nursery
Next morning, participants visited the coffee nursery. Kulchandra informed them about the condition of seedlings in the nursery: 1) As the coffee seedlings should be kept in polybags for 15 to 18 months, they should be kept in big polybag (6"x12"). The polybag in the nursery is small so they need extra manure. Water is mixed with compost manure in a container and that solution should be sprinkled in nursery every month. 2) Some plants are dying because they could not cope with cold but most plants are healthy that will grow fast after this winter. Bordo mixture should be given to combat with cold and other diseases/insects. 3) The seedlings have been kept together closely. They should be kept further apart to give room to grow. 4) These seedlings should be planted last month of Baisakh (second week of May) but if there is no rain then these should be planted first week of Jeth (last week of May). Seedlings should be planted much earlier than monsoon so that they get enough time to adapt themselves to cope with harsh weather of monsoon.
Trainer practically demonstrated to make bordo mixture that was sprinkled in nursery and coffee plants. Some coffee plants had already been planted last year. After this practical session, theory class was resumed. Trainer informed about different diseases/insects that potentially harm coffee plants. He also discussed about prevention and remedies of these diseases/insects.
Amelie and Mathieu (French volunteers) involved in the training and assisted trainer and trainees.


Kulchandra emphasized the collective effort from all the farmers in commercial coffee plantation. It is important to form a farmers' cooperative to work together. The participants themselves formed "Upardang Gadi Coffee Producers Group" comprising of all the participants who are willing to plant coffee in their land. They will involve other farmers who are willing in coffee plantation. They unanimously formed 9-member committee: Mr. Santosh Gurung (president), Mrs. Gori Chepang (vice-president), Mr. Tej Bahadur Gurung (secretary) and members: Mr. Ram Bahadur Chepang, Mr. Gopi Chepang, Mrs. Gorimaya Chepang, Mr. Santa Bahadur Praja, Mr. Ganesh Bahadur Thapa and Mr. Bil Bahadur Thapa.

Many participants had not tasted the coffee yet. During the break, they tasted Nepali coffee (Everest Coffee). They really like the taste of coffee. They all promised that whatever they learned in the training, they would apply in the field to grow organic coffee in their land.
See also:
http://www.ranichari.blogspot.com/2011/03/drink-real-coffee.html#more
http://www.ranichari.blogspot.com/2011/06/new-sprout-of-coffee.html

42 comments:

  1. Rupendra-ji, wonderful story and news! Nepali coffee it's so tasty!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Shana-ji, We will have our own Chitwan coffee in a year.

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    2. That a very article Rupen, and wonderful pictures....see soon.
      Namaste from France

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