The story behind Kanchanjangha Tea Estate

Kanchanjangha Tea Estate and Research Centre, the rightful owners of which are the tillers of the soil themselves, was founded by Mr. Deepak Prakash Banskota 26 years ago. Sited to the extreme Eastern part of Nepal, KTE is located at the foothills of Phidim.

The righteous idea of establishing KTE struck Mr. Baskota during his first visit to Darjeeling at the age of 15. Delighted by the serene beauty of the tea gardens and surprised by the high standard of living of the tea labourers, Mr. Baskota was forced to think about the way people led their lives in his village. They lacked even the basic requisites of life. He returned to his village not empty handed but with an idea to uplift the living condition of the people of his village through the establishment of a tea factory.  Even a single individual in his village did not support his view, thinking it to be impractical.
Despite the lack of support from his villagers and a number of unavoidable causes, he started implementing his thoughts into action. He thought of using the barren land, owned by the villagers, for tea plantation and the first step he had to carry out was to test the soil’s fertility. Carrying two sacks of soil, he planned a trip to one of the labs near Birathnager. With no transportation facility at all, he made the trip on foot for 3 days facing great difficulties on his way. Nevertheless, the soil test report came out to be positive and that his idea of using the barren land for tea plantation had finally found its way.
For Mr. Baskota, tea was just a morning beverage and apart from this, he knew nothing about tea. Seeking help from the tea specialists in Darjeeling he learned much about orthodox tea. Mr. Baskota, who believes in creating things of his own, brought tea seeds and clones to plant through a new technique of farming known as ‘Organic Farming’. He again sought help from the villagers to provide him their land for plantation but he had to face the same negative response. Without feeling dejected, he started organic plantation in his own land. After three years, the villagers finally noticed the prospects of tea plantation and offered him their land for the same. 
Finally, he succeeded in establishing a tea factory despite of various inflexibilities and difficulties. This new groundwork of development was an attempt to modernize the living standard of the lowly villagers without destroying their way of life. The Tea Estate runs along the lines of Co-operative. A group of about 100 farmers pooled their marginal land holdings and created this unique 95 hectares tea estate, which has been a valuable contribution to their meager existence.
KTE, lying at an altitude of about 1300 to 1800 meters borders the famous tea growing areas of Darjeeling. The North facing tea estate constantly receives fresh air from the snowcapped Himalayas, which give this tea a unique aroma and flavor.