Aiming to boost export, Nagaland plans coffee plantation in 50,000 hectares

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Kohima, Oct (IANS) In a bid to export coffee to European and Middle Eastern countries, the Nagaland government has undertaken an ambitious plan to cover 50,000 hectares of land by coffee plantation by 2030, officials said on Monday.

With the help and support of the Coffee Board, currently around 8,412.49 hectares and 1,419.7 hectares of land in different districts are covered by plantations of Arabica and Robusta coffee, respectively.

Coffee Board Deputy Director P.P. Chaudhury said that the Board has been supporting around 400 coffee farmers per year covering around 200 hectares of land.

"The Board is also providing market linkage of the products by bringing in buyers from different parts of India," the official said, adding that the Land Resources Development (LRD) department is the nodal agency in cultivating organic coffee in the Nagaland.

Chaudhury said that the Coffee Board, under its schemes, provides seedlings to raise nurseries along with infrastructural support during harvest.

He said that though Nagaland is currently producing limited quantity of coffee, the quality of the organic beverage is 'very good' and fulfilling the international standards.

With Nagaland having a micro-climatic condition, the soil is very suitable for coffee cultivation, officials said.

The Coffee Board is supporting the LRD department in providing training to the farmers and also conducting exposure trips to other states.

According to an LRD official, the coffee plantation first began in Nagaland in the early 1990s, but initially it was not a successful mission due to the lack of market linkage.

Additional director of LRD, Albert Ngullie, said that in 2014, the Nagaland government revived coffee plantation in a mission mode across the state with the LRD department as the nodal agency. Now, the organic coffee grown in the state is being exported to European and Middle Eastern countries.

Under the post-Covid economic recovery plan, the North Eastern Council (NEC) has provided financial assistance to distribute 360 coffee pulping machines across the state. The NABARD also provides support to the farmers in cultivating organic coffee.

The Nagaland Coffee Private Limited, which signed an MoU with the Nagaland government to distribute and export coffee, is the sole exporter of coffee in the northeastern state.

The company's owner, Vivito Yeptho, said that he started exporting coffee in 2017 with a mere four tonnes while the highest has been 11 tonnes per season.

"We are planning to export at least 20 tonnes of coffee by 2023," he said, adding that Nagaland coffee is exported to countries like South Africa, Bahrain, Dubai, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and South East Asia.

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