Ilam farmers worried as cardamom price drops by 36 per cent

ILAM: Sudden fall in the price of cardamom has become a matter of concern for the farmers here. Cardamom is the second major cash crop after ginger in Ilam district.

The price of cardamom has dropped by Rs 25, 000 per maund (40 kilogrammes) approximately compared to last year. It is nearly two months since the new harvest hit the market.

Although the price per maund was Rs 70,000 in the beginning when the new harvest started coming in the market, it has slumped in the range of Rs 50,000to Rs 55,000.

Bijaya Khaki, a cardamom trader from Ilam Bazaar, said the price of cardamom has constantly declined with the arrival of the new harvest in the market.

Cardamom farmers say that the constant fall in the price has resulted in big losses to them.

Last year the farmers sold cardamom for Rs 100,000 per maund. But this time it was hardly selling at Rs 50,000,  Kamal Lamichhane, a cardamom farmer at local Aamchok said.

Cardamom trader Prakash Agrawal said the cardamom that is brought to the market from different villages are not good in quality, hence the prices has slumped.

Around 400 maunds of cardamom were exported to Jhapa from Ilam district this year, according to the Cardamom Traders Federation, Ilam District chapter.

Ilam had produced 558 metric tonnes of cardamom last year.

(40 kilogrammes = 1.07 maund)