News : Cooperative sector developing technical human resource on tea cultivation

29 March 2021, Ilam

Tea is major exportable cash crop of Nepal. Tea farming is the major source of income to the smallholder farmers as the tea cultivation started from the Rana Regime. From the recent decades, cooperative sector also professionalizing tea farming in Nepal. Although it has around 257 years of experience, Nepal is not independent on technical human resource in tea sector. National Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) has been established for the development of tea in Nepal. Various activities have been done by the NTCDB for the development of tea in Nepal which is not sufficient for overall development of Nepal. In the context of Three Pillar (Public, Private and Cooperative sector) mentions in the Constitution of Nepal, CTCF Nepal umbrella organization of tea cooperative in Nepal, has been conducting Assistant Tea Technician Training (Level 1) with the support of Dakchyata TVET Technical Partnership, funded by European Union and managed by British Council. The trainings were started on 21 January 2021 at Napaltar, Jabire, Nayabazar, Kanyam and Fikkal venue. 100 tea farmer, tea worker including 29 female have been participating 3 months (430 hrs) training.

CTCF Nepal conducted external monitoring visit to monitor the efficiency, learning of the training consisting representative of local government, national tea and coffee development board (NTCDB), Ratna Kumar Bantawa Poly-technique institute Sakhejung Ilam, Board member and project staffs. During the monitoring visit training participants said that the training program is very effective and supportive to fulfill the technical knowledge gap. Bibek Rai from Jasbire training venue said "Our perception regarding the tea bushes has been completely changed by the training, Now we see not only the tea plant but also the clone, infection of pest and diseases and our future.  According to the training participants tea farming can be transferred to the next generation and has direct impact on rural farmer, so organic farming should be emphases for the sustainable. Training participant said that they have realized their mistake and weakness in existing tea farming after attending the training and they are committed to implement the knowledge in their own farm for self-employment. Female participant said that before the training they had plucking skill of tea only, now they are more knowledge on tea nursery plantation, pruning, pest and diseases management, manure preparation and processing techniques. Training participants have demanded second level of training focusing on tea processing and marketing.

During the monitoring visit, agricultural technician of NTCDB, Khagendra Bist evaluate the learning through question answer and he said, " I am very much happy to see training participants who have got already one level of technical skill and knowledge. He requested to the participants to implement the knowledge and skill gained from the training in their tea farming.  Agriculture Instructor of Ratnakumar Bantawa Poly-technique Institute, Anjila Bidari had congratulated the training participants for being first batch of assistant tea technician of Nepal under CTEVT. She mentioned that, the gesture and confidence of trainings participant clearly shows that they are now already assistant tea technician.

Jit Bahadur Rai, Chairperson of Maijogmai Rural Muncipality, commtitted to formulate plan and policies to motivate tea farming since, tea is major sources of income to the Ilam and Nation. He also added that, the local government will coordinate and collaborate for the formulation of curriculum of level 2 and conduct training. Mr R.B. Rai mayor of Suryodaya municipality also committed to coordinate and discuss with concern stakeholders and authority for the development of level 2 training. General Secretary of CTCF Nepal Rabin Rai mentioned that the participant will received National Certificate from NSTB after testing skill of trainees and the procedure have been already started by its' implementing partner. He also added that CTCF Nepal is discussing with the concern stakeholders to develop next level of curriculum  focusing processing techniques.