Seed shortage in Morang

BIRATNAGAR: Though the potato planting season has begun farmers in Morang district are suffering from a shortage of potato seeds. Some unscrupulous traders are selling the seeds in the black market at exorbitant rates. Traders said a big rise in the price of potato in India is the reason for the hike in potato price in Nepal. At present, potato is being sold for Rs 2,600 per quintal in Morang.

Last year, the price was not more than Rs 1,200 a quintal. The district agriculture development office said the problem compounded due to poor harvest of potato last year due to diseases, extreme cold and lack of irrigation.

The plant quarantine office at Rani Biratnagar said 4,209 tonnes of potato worth Rs 35.53 million have been imported via the point in the current fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the price of potato has nearly doubled in Ilam. Potato price has reached Rs 40 per kg in the district due to poor production last season.