Central Tea Cooperation Federation (CTCF) is an umbrella organization for tea cooperatives and district tea cooperative federations of Nepal. It was established on 16 September 2010 to address critical issues of small tea farmers through cooperative ideology and movement. CTCF has currently 99-member tea cooperatives from Ilam, Panchthar, Dhankuta, Therathum, Jhapa, Udayapur, Bhojpur, Lalitpur, Solukhumbu, Taplejung, Sankuwasava, and Ramechap districts, including 5 district tea cooperative federations, with more than 6200 small tea household farmers as members. CTCF has clear vision of "Sustainable Tea Cooperatives, Prosperous Farmers". CTCF provides support to member organizations in institutional strengthening, policy lobby and advocacy on the behalf of members, and provide assistance to members for quality production, processing and marketing of tea.
The collaboration between Agriterra and CTCF started in 2012 and was given form in three successive projects focusing on capacity building, lobbying and advocacy, sustainable service provision to members and financial sustainability. CTCF has cooperated with Agriterra mainly on two topics: (1) promoting local entrepreneurship and (2) lobby and advocacy. In the beginning, Agriterra has supported training of individual farmers through their cooperatives that are members of CTCF. Since mid-2015, Agriterra has become more focused on organizational development only and has professionalized its way of working in a more business minded manner.
As the result of cooperation between CTCF and Agriterra, CTCF has increased its visibility and secured good position in the network of the government and tea stakeholders. CTCF has transformed with support of Agriterra from Tea Service Centre, NGO structure to cooperative federation. CTCF has developed its institution capacity to provide services of capacity development, business support, production, processing and marketing support, lobby and advocacy to member organizations. CTCF has slowly started to attract grants and subsidies from government and donor organizations. In 2016-17, CTCF has received grant amount of 1,4 million Euro from Government of Nepal, UNNATI (Danish Project) and International Labor Organization (ILO). The grant amount is used for establishing and upgrading processing factory, tea marketing, and quality production of tea. CTCF become core team member for preparing 5-year strategic plan of tea development sector in Nepal. CTCF has been conducting regular lobby and advocacy to Governments and other donor agencies to allocate the budget in organic certification, access to finance for cooperatives, organic inputs and crop insurance in tea sector. Some results have been achieved already in tea sector: 21 tea cooperatives own cooperative processing factories, 11 tea cooperatives getting soft loan of 30 million Nepali rupees from financial institutions, and tea farmers are more professional and changing their role from producer to processer. CTCF has become members of national organizations which are National Cooperative Federation Ltd. Nepal (2010), National Tea and Coffee Development Board Nepal (2011), National Cooperative Bank Nepal (2011), and international organizations which are Asian Farmer Association for Sustainable for Rural Development (2014) and World Green Tea Association (2017).
CTCF has ambition to play major roles in the cooperative tea marketing on the behalf of its members. Currently, CTCF has linked MAAS International, Dutch buyer of tea to Tinjure Tea Cooperative, which is one of its member cooperative. CTCF is supporting Tinjure Tea Cooperative in exporting quality packaged tea to MAAS International. CTCF is receiving service fees from MAAS International. The financial sustainability and future of CTCF depends upon the marketing of tea. Agriterra has supported CTCF in building strong foundation of institution and positioning CTCF as key actors in tea sector. Now it is right time to support CTCF in reaching the next level of development of tea marketing.