Farm Around Us
Khetalo has always been about growing and farming. With an objective of bringing out agricultural activities in our country to the forefront, we have ideated to visit different places and collect stories about farmers and their issues.
We had to start from somewhere and we did, with whatever resources we had at the moment. This blog is an attempt to familiarize our readers and viewers about the type of contents we will be blogging about in the future. We would like to assert that Khetalo will improvise and grow with our viewers/consumer’s feedback and support.
We hope to get better and bigger as the days roll.
This is entirely dedicated for the hard-work and perseverance of our farming communities and the unsung service they are doing for us.
We have seen a huge buzz in our beverage market: how our urban lifestyles are reshaping and adjusting to the coffee culture, and how coffee farming businesses are growing throughout Nepal. Owing to special landscapes and optimal climatic conditions for coffee growing, Nepal’s organic coffee brands have been widely accepted and admired across the world. There already are some established coffee brands which have proved that this is a lucrative business. Yet, there’s a lot more that can be done.
Though we all might have had one or two cups of Nepali coffee, we have scant knowledge of where or how this amazing crop is grown. To gain some insight on this,Prashant,our co-founder and designer (who also is a mechanical engineer), visited a coffee farm at Sindhupalchowk. Prashant has been working to establish an innovation lab in a School at a village there, apart from Khetalo. So he decided to hike for two hours and pay a visit to this coffee farm and collect their stories.
Those who have spent years of life growing and selling coffee agree that coffee farming demands a great deal of patience and dedication. “You’ve got to make sure you provide a suitable environment for coffee plants. When to plant, when to add manure and when to water, how much food the plant would need, you need to know they say.” However once the plant starts to mature (2-3 years), it doesn’t need much time to be taken care of. Plantlets as large as 8 inches can be transferred to the field.
Coffee plants hate sun-tan! The better shade they get to be protected from sun; the better they can do. But it should be understood that they require sunlight to an optimal level. Coffee grows best round orange and banana trees. Water is very essential for the proper growth of coffee. Timely irrigation is must this business. The best time to plant coffee would be just before the onset of monsoon.
Among 100 families living in Karkitar, only 30-40 families are currently involved in coffee framing. With proper training, management and awareness, many other framers can do it in their farms and those who are doing it already can give the best yield. Also if all of the framer started producing coffee they can start their own processing and packaging which will cut the middle man and will have maximum profit from it.
Author: Subash Chapagain
Photo and Video Credit: Rishav Adhikari and Prashant Neopane