Food stock adequate for festivals, assures Nepal Food Corporation

Kathmandu, October 9

Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) has claimed that there will be no food shortage during the festive season despite the ongoing tensions along the Nepal-India border.

The corporation has assured that it has adequate stock of food items like salt, oil, sugar and lentils, among others that would last for three to four months.

“There is no reason to panic due to the border blockade as the government has adequate food stock,” assured Shree Maniram Khanal, spokesman for NFC.

Binod Babu Wagle, chief of NFC, said, “The only issue facing the corporation is the transportation of the food items as the border blockade has led to a fuel crisis in the country.”

The fair price shop that NFC had been running every year at Ramshah Path in the Capital with the onset of Dashain has been cancelled this year due to the problem in transportation, he added.

Although NFC claims there will be no food shortage, complaints of black marketing from various quarters have been pouring in. For instance, Sumitra Nagarkoti who hails from Jhapa and is now residing in Buddhanagar of Kathmandu, commented that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find goods in the market. “Even if I do find it, I am having to pay a higher price for it.”

NFC Chief Wagle, however, refutes claims of food shortage. “The problem lies in transportation.”

Unlike in the previous festivals, the supply of goats has reportedly gone down in the Capital due to the blockade along the border points.

According to NFC, Kathmandu is yet to receive the supply of goats from places like Makawanpur, Banke, Bardiya, Surkhet and Lahan.

NFC, however, said they are planning to bring in around 1,000 chyangras (mountain goats) from Mustang within a couple of days, to fulfil the demand for goats.

NFC Spokesperson Khanal informed that the NFC branch used to sell around 3,000 goats and chyangras every Dashain in the past.

Balaram Kunwar of Tukucha Goat Market Operation Committee under the Animal Purchase and Sale Area Committee said that around 80 per cent of goats used to arrive from India in the past.

He, however, said the supply from India is yet to be made due to the restrictions. “The purchase and sale of goats will steadily go down if the supply from India is not eased within a couple of days,” he said.

A goat trader Gyanu Shrestha urged the concerned authorities to ease the restrictions so as to ensure smooth supply of goats from India.

Local vegetable seller Narayan Adhikari said that shortage of liquefied petroleum gas has also made matters worse.