|LHASA, June 6, 2016 -- We will soon know if coffee crops can thrive on the roof of the world, as Tibet has begun experimenting with coffee plantation.
Experts supervised locals to plant 500 grams of coffee seeds from Yunnan Province in a seven-square-meter field in Zayu County, Dawa Toinzhub, deputy head of the county's agriculture and animal husbandry bureau said on Thursday.
The seedlings have grown well since planting a month ago, the official said, and if the experiment is successful, coffee crops will be grown elsewhere in Tibet.
Zayu, located in the southeast of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, has an average elevation of 2,300 meters. It boasts a mild climate featuring abundant rainfall and sunshine, which makes it suitable for coffee plants.
The trial plantation is being supervised by members of Tibet's academy of agriculture and animal husbandry, as well as their counterparts from Hainan and Yunnan—two coffee-producing provinces.
Technicians will cover the seedlings with thermal film to help them sustain the winter, according to Dawa Toinzhub.
"We hope a coffee industry can take shape here and 'made-in-Tibet coffee' becomes a known brand," he said.