Nepal’s Tea Export Up

Nepal has exported tea worth Rs. 3.06 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, according to the Department of Customs. This is an increase from the last fiscal year, when tea only worth Rs. 2.78 billion was exported in the span of the 12 months.
Dr. Bishnu Kumar Bhattarai, Nepal Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) executive director attributed the increase to the better conditions. “Our exports suffered last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions rolled out to contain it. This year, the situation was not as bad as last year’s, so we could export more tea,” he said, adding that, going by the data, the current year could be considered more fruitful.
Stating that a research by the Tea Research Association had shown that enzyme called Diflavin found in tea could reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections, Bhattarai opined that this provided an opportunity to Nepali tea.
“A study published in the Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics, India, published in March last year found that the enzyme found in tea is effective in boosting immunity against the coronavirus,” Bhattarai said. “The study conducted tests on infected people and apparently found that tea consumption reduced the severity of the infection. This has helped push up the demand for Nepali tea.”
Meanwhile, NTCDB is also preparing to draft a memorandum of understanding with China to facilitate the export of Nepali tea to our northern neighbour. The board stated that diplomatic endeavours were underway to reach an agreement with Russia as well.
“Tea is the only commodity that Nepal produces enough to meet the domestic demand and supply internationally,” Bhattarai claimed. Coincidentally, Baisakh 15 (April 28) is also Nepal’s National Tea Day. NTCDB is marking the occasion with the slogan ‘Let’s drink nationally produced tea, for health, self-reliance and prosperity.’