Bhupendra Loktam, a 32-year-old tea farmer and tea worker from the Ilam Municipality has been growing tea in his family’s 0.5-hectare tea farm over the past 10 years. Whilst he had never received any formal training or accreditation, Bhupendra was satisfied that he had the experience and skills he needed, “Before the training, I was quite confident because I had been involved in tea cultivation from many years. I thought the training would be easy for me.”
CTCF are working to enhance the technical skills of tea farmers, like Bhupendra on tea cultivation, management, and processing- with a focus on improving knowledge organic techniques, reducing chemical use, and seeking greener ways to cultivate tea.
Bhupendra received the Assistant Tea Technician Training (Level 1), based on a 430-hour curriculum developed by Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) Nepal, and delivered through semi apprenticeship and employment (SAE) model of 20% theory and 80% practical.
“When I started my training, I soon realized that whilst the training was very interesting it was also, tough for me. Every session of the training was important- I began to realise that I had been using many wrong practices for tea cultivation. In particular, the soil testing and organic manure preparation by utilizing local herb and materials- this was the most interesting part of the training for me, and I realised that these skills were equally important to other crops as well.”
“The Assistant Tea Technician Training has really helped me to develop my cultivation skills.”
For CTCF, Bhupendra exemplifies the importance of providing new greener skills to experienced tea farmers, “the training participants have changed their perception on the tea farming. They have realized the [challenges/mistakes] in existing tea cultivation practices. The training has been extremely fruitful in developing new skills in organic farming and pest and diseases management approaches. The next level of training will be very important to ensure their long-term employment opportunities.”