Incense (Agarbatti) essential part of many religious ceremonies and a familiar element of household life, the heady scents of incense are widely considered synonymous with Asia. The importance of incense in Nepali culture is no exception, and Nepali entrepreneurs’ recent success in producing a quality range of unique scents comes as no surprise.


Nepal is home to many of the natural herbs, spices, woods and resins commonly found in incense blends as well as the bamboo used to make the sticks it’s usually rolled on. For many years, these raw ingredients have been exported to neighbouring countries like India and China for the production of incense, but the local production of the finished incense stick, which has already developed into a viable export industry, is a relatively new development in Nepal. Incense is made by grinding scented substances into a fine powder, mixing with a binding and burning agent, such as the natural tree bark makko or the chemical salt peter, and drying.


Incense production provides good income and employment opportunities for landless and marginalised people across Nepal. MEDEP supports producers in Kavrepalanchok, Janakapur, Sindhupalchok, Darchula, Sindhuli and Udayapur providing entrepreneurship and technical skills training, assisting with the purchase of necessary technology and equipment, helping to improve the marketability of the products, and building market linkages.

A variety of incense is available in both wholesale and retail quantities from Saugaat Griha, the sales outlet of micro, cottage and small entrepreneurs’ products at Tripureshwar, Kathmandu.



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