Darjeeling, India

Regenerating ecosystem services in the region, enriching soils and reducing erosion to improve tea production.

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About Darjeeling

The Darjeeling project, established in 2013, is actively regenerating ecosystem services in the region, enriching soils and reducing erosion to improve tea production.


Darjeeling is a region that is famous for its tea worldwide. However, intensive monoculture practices in the area have led to declining tea production levels over the last decade.

Farmers have cleared trees from hillsides to expand agriculture, causing erosion and rapid degradation of the rich soil that gives the tea its unique flavour. In non-organic tea gardens, heightened use of pesticides creates a vicious cycle ā€” with more resistant pests requiring higher dependency on expensive pesticides.

Along with regenerating ecosystem services, this project also supports the diversification of farmer revenues through multiple crops, including timber and fruit sales in the local market.

Improved Cookstoves

The Improved Cookstove project was widely implemented by Darjeeling farmers during the pandemic ā€” when transportation was not accessible, and liquefied petroleum gas became unavailable.

Farmers are interested in planting fuelwood species to generate local resources. They currently rely on sourcing tree seedlings from commercial nurseries located far away from their communities. Next year, through the Darjeeling agroforestry project, knowledge of Improved Cookstoves and seedling production will be transferred to communities in the region.


Improved cookstoves help farmers use 20%-50% less fuelwoods.

"This program has given positive activities and changes to our community. Iā€™d very much like to continue the program with another parcel. Trees clean the air, prevent soil erosion, and also give us fruits, timber and wood."

Premila Mukhia, Darjeeling

"I love trees. 25 years ago, when my father gave this land to me, there were no trees. Just vegetables. Today, 50% of my land is covered with forest."

Meena Khawas, Darjeeling