Spud price spirals
BIRGUNJ: The price of potato has skyrocketed during recent weeks due to poor production and insufficient supply. The price was Rs 22 to 25 per kg some three weeks ago but it has soared to Rs 30 to 35 after Dashain began. Traders say demand goes up during Dashain and Tihar and large quantities of potato are being imported from India. “Still the import has not been able to meet the demand though it has prevented the price from going up further,” said Bidur Prasad Kalwar, chairman of Birgunj unit of Nepal Fruit and Vegetable Vendors’ Association. Traders also import potato worth millions of rupees to compete with the price in bordering Indian towns. At least five to seven trucks of potato come in daily via different points in Bara and Parsa districts, sources said. — RSS
Hail ruins crops
PARBAT: A sudden spell of hail pounded northern villages of Parbat district on Wednesday, destroying standing crops. Paddy, millet crops and vegetables planted in hundreds of hectares of land in north Parbat VDCs —Thulipokhari, Karkineta, Khaula, Bujunga and some other areas — were ruined. The damage in the northern VDCs ranges from light in some areas to severe in others. A Thulipokhari local Prakash Sapkota said the hail started at 4 pm and wreaked havoc until 5:30 pm. Farmers said they were looking forward to a good harvest this year but now there is not much left. — RSS
Ginger export
BIRATNAGAR: The export of ginger, broom grass and herbs to India from the eastern region has significantly increased last year. Gauri Shankar Bhagat, a ginger wholeseller in Biratnagar, said demand for ginger produced in Dharan, Hile and Letang is very high in India. The plant quarantine office at Rani, Biratnagar, said that 1,044 tonnes of ginger worth Rs 10 million and 10,008 tonnes of cardamom worth Rs 1.28 billion were exported to India last year. Broom grass worth Rs 1.5 million and oil cakes worth Rs 81.3 million were also exported to India. Other herbs worth millions of rupees were exported to Bihar, UP and West Bengal of India. Traders complained that quarantine officials on the Indian side of the border create unnecessary hassles for Nepali traders. — RSS