Derived from the Limbu dialect of Nepal, the word ‘Soyak’ means a place where there are abundant tangerines. But the locals were unaware of the fact that this small town in the East of Nepal is also a hub for amazing coffee. When all the farmers were growing tangerines, Dambar was one of the first people to notice coffee in the village and out of curiosity started to collect it for sale.
Coffee for him was like discovering liquid gold. It has been fourteen years since the day and he is still involved in collecting coffee for his living. By selling coffee, the 35-year-old Dambar has built himself a cozy wooden house for his family of three and can provide for his aged parents too. His wife is a teacher but she also helps him with coffee collection by keeping track of the records and finances. With his wife on his team, Dambar has been managing the coffee collection from 150 houses which brings him almost 2000 kg of the red cherries
Being the coffee collector of Soyak. he is involved in the prolonged process of sorting, pulping, washing, fermenting and drying of the coffee beans.
Dambar says, “For me, the coffee collection has provided me the option to stay in my country, with the people I love. I consider myself lucky to have this option as most of the youth in Soyak are forced to go to the Gulf countries for employment leaving everything behind.” This is the sad truth of Soyak and like most of the rural areas of Nepal. But Dambar firmly believes that if the coffee farming flourishes in the village the next generation of youth won’t have to suffer for employment opportunities in abroad.
In the two seasons of coffee harvesting, he collects up to 4000 kg in total. For the farmers, coffee has brought forward new income sources to enhance their living standards. So the farmers and Dambar, all are geared up to make the coffee farming more organized from 2018. And in 5 years time, Dambar had set a goal to organize training for the farmers to maximize their production and also plan for better nurseries so that the coffee of Soyak can truly flourish.