Organically grown veggies fetching poor returns

Pokhara, August 7:

Farmers are in a quandary. All because, vegetables produced by organic methods are not getting a market because those produced with the help of chemical fertilizers are cheaper, more attractive and better able to lure customers.

They have also started feeling that using organic fertilisers is costlier compared to the use

of chemical fertilizers. Farmers have demanded that the District Agriculture Development

Office and organizations working in organic sector establish a centre to sell organic items at feasible prices.

Various organisations including World Vision, Nest, GTZ and Lee Word working in the organic agriculture sector encourage farmers in the produce of organic vegetables. “We are having to bear loss since these organisations are not taking initiatives in the management of the market,” farmers said. These organizations have launched programmes for producing organically grown vegetables in Kalika, Bhalam, Armala and Arwa VDCs of Kaksi but they have not managed the markets. Over 200 farmers in these VDCs are producing vegetables by organic methods.

“Non-government organizations have taken lakhs of rupees as donation in the name of helping farmers, but they have not managed the markets,” farmer Puspa Poudel said. Madhu Poudel of Malam said, “We are forced to sell the vegetable produced by organic methods at lower prices.”

District Agriculture Development Office chief Beni Bahadur Basnet said, “Farmers are disappointed as their organic products are not getting a market.”