Portrait of a Coffee Grower

Dhan Kumari Rana, 48

Thanapati, Ruru Rural Municipality Ward No. 3

Gulmi District

Dhan Kumari lives with her two sons and her father-in-law in Gulmi. Around a decade ago, while she was only growing vegetables, she came to know about coffee. Later, with the development of coffee value chain in the district, she tried her hands on coffee farming.

Coffee plants need shade to grow well and Rana grows jackfruit, orange, ipil, turmeric, and chilly plants and under their shades are 575 fruiting and 1025 nonfruiting coffee plants. Due to narrow spacing and a large number, those coffee plants got less individual care from her. In 2017, she trained on coffee plantation, orchard, and pest management programs organized by GNI Nepal under its Coffee Value Chain Development Project (CVCDP).

Dhan Kumari realized the importance of plant spacing, pruning, and orchard management with regards to productivity. She planted 200 coffee saplings in appropriate spaces, and under shade trees. Rana shared,‘’I had never participated in such a training before and it taught me orchard management and spacing in a practical manner’’.

Now, Rana is a member of Thanapati Primary Coffee Cooperative (PCC). She also participated in a pest management campaign organized by CVCDP which gave her the impetus to make her coffee orchard free of pests. In an effort to save other healthy plants, she cut down more than twenty white stem-borer affected plants and burned them.

This year alone, she sold fresh coffee cherries worth NRs. 100,000 which is a thirty percent increase compared to last year. Coffee farming has earned Dhan Kumari more profit than vegetables and cereal farming combined.

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