From theguardian world news - Ishwar Rauniyar in Kavre and Jason Burke, The Guardian, Tuesday 18 December 2012 - Nepalese farmers tap into global thirst for coffee. - Coffee farming industry booming as crop takes to difficult terrain and taste for drink grows in India, Pakistan and China.

Compared with other coffee producing nations, Nepal is small fry. But that doesn't mean it can't have its own micro-boom. Bhimsen Giri is a coffee exporter with a problem. The farmers he visits in the hills around his native Kavre district, 20 miles outside the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, are not producing enough. "We have hardly met 10% o the demand," said Giri.

However, the 30-year-old, who has been in the business for a decade, is optimistic. More Nepalese growers are turning to coffee, drawn by record prices paid by exporters.

"Farmers are very excited about coffee farming," Giri said. "But most of them lack information regarding the process and benefit of coffee farming."

Driven by surging demand  especially in traditionally tea-drinking countries such as India and Pakistan  the Nepalese coffee farming industry is booming. The result is visible on the neat rows of bushes on the green slopes of Kavre district. Nepal now has 1,700 hectares of coffee plantation, more than 10 times the area 20 years ago when growing started. Total production is 417 tonnes of coffee, more than 30 times the crop in the early 1990s.

In Kavre alone 2,200 farmers are involved in coffee, according to Hom Raj Giri, chairman of the Kavre District Coffee Entrepreneurs Association.

Every year, according to Prem Acharya, planning officer at the National Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB), 16% mre land is being used for coffee and production is increasing by 20%. he industry now employs more than 25,000 people.

In a country with deep poverty and political instability, coffee is one of the few industries beyond tourism that are thriving.

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