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Nepal's first organic tea plantation raises villagers' standard of living

Transcendental Meditation News - UK    Translate This Article
6 January 2013

Many years ago, as a young man, Dr Deepak Baskota had the idea of establishing a tea plantation in his home area after visiting a plantation in Darjeeling.

As well as enjoying the serene beauty of the tea gardens, Dr Baskota was impressed by the standard of living among the workers which was much better than that of people in his own village. The idea came to him that if a tea plantation could be set up in his locality, it would be a way to raise the villagers' standard of living while maintaining their independence and traditional way of life.

At that time, tea for Dr Baskota was just a morning beverage and he knew little about its cultivation. Moreover, he faced the task of convincing the local farmers of the viability of his plan. The first step was to establish that the soil was suitable for tea cultivation. To do this he had to carry two sacks of soil to a testing laboratory at Biratnagar, a difficult journey that took him three days on foot.

The test proved positive, but still the villagers were doubtful of his idea that their as yet unproductive land could be used for tea cultivation. Undaunted, Dr Baskota started with a plantation on his own property.

Seeking help from specialists in Darjeeling he learned much about the cultivation of tea and he bought select seeds for planting using organic methods. It was three years before the villagers were convinced of the prospects that tea cultivation offered them.

In 1984 the enterprise was launched on a cooperative model, with over 100 farmers pooling their land holdings and becoming joint owners of Nepal's first organic tea plantation, covering nearly 94 hectares. A government grant approved by the late King Birendra helped to bring the project to fruition.

See previous articles in this series:
Nepal: Dr Deepak Baskota brings news of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes to UK
UK's peace-creating communities of meditators inspire formation of similar groups in Nepal

Global Good News will feature more from recent presentations in the UK by Dr Deepak Baskota, national director of Nepal Maharishi Vedic Foundation, including conferences he organized about Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture.

Source: Adapted from Transcendental Meditation News - UK

Copyright © 2012 Maharishi Foundation UK

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