10 per cent local veggies still not getting market
KATHMANDU, JUNE 9
Vegetable consumption has declined during the lockdown as all the organisations that would purchase them in bulk, such as hotels and restaurants, are closed. Hence, local farmers and traders are not getting market and vegetable prices have also declined. However, National Centre for Potato, Vegetable and Spice Crops Development has stated that even during normal days 10 per cent of the total produced vegetables have been going to waste.
As per the centre, currently 4.2 million tonnes of vegetables are being produced in the country yearly, while about 1.5 million tonnes are imported and about 4.4 million tonnes of vegetables are consumed annually.
A total of 3,170 tonnes of vegetables are consumed daily in the country, of which 30 per cent is imported from India. The country still has to import vegetables from India and other countries, while the local produce are not getting market.
As per the centre, just during the lockdown period, around 40 per cent of local vegetables have been destroyed in lack of market.
At this moment, with an aim to promote local products, traders are also not importing vegetables from India. However, few items like onions, potatoes and lemons have to be imported as their production in Nepal is very low, said Khom Prasad Ghimire, president of the Federation of Fruits and Vegetable Entrepreneurs.
“There are few Indian traders in Nepal who import vegetables from India. Almost all traders in Nepal have halted importing vegetables from the southern neighbour this year,” he said, “We are self-reliant in vegetables now and local vegetables are way cheaper.”
Meanwhile, the country also exports around 22,000 to 25,000 tonnes of fresh vegetables annually.
Vegetables import in Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market has also dropped by around 18 per cent during the lockdown. As per the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board, import of vegetables from India has declined to 22 per cent during lockdown from 40 per cent earlier.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, vegetables are cultivated on 7.3 per cent or an area of 297,195 hectares of the total arable land in the country.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 10, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.