Small farmers face difficulties supplying produce to Kalimati market

Kathmandu, May 11

Stakeholders have raised the issue of farmers facing difficulties in supplying their products to the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market.

While addressing a meeting of the Finance Committee of the Parliament today, Khem Bahadur Pathak, president of Sana Kisan Bikas Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha, said that during this lockdown period farmers have not been able to supply their produce to the Kalimati market.

“Farmers are supposed to supply their products in the Kalimati market by 8:00am and if they are unable to sell their products within that time, they have to return with their products,” he said.

Pathak further added that in the absence of middlemen, small farmers are unable to sell their products in Kalimati.

“No space has been arranged for small farmers in Kalimati and organisations like us have limited timeframe to sell the products collected from small farmers,” he said, adding, “Small farmers were already in trouble due to lack of market even during the normal days and now the lockdown has made things even more difficult.”

He further requested the committee to direct the authorities to arrange space for small farmers in Kalimati market.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Vegetables and Fruits Association Binod Parajuli accused the government of not addressing the concerns of small farmers. “Time and again we have asked the government to arrange a separate space for farmers, however our demand has fallen on deaf ears,” he said.

“All the stalls in the Kalimati market have been occupied by traders and even though the government had made a commitment to allot stalls to small farmers or cooperative groups, the decision has not been implemented yet,” he added.

Due to lack of market, cooperatives are also not collecting produce from small farmers and they have been compelled to destroy their products.

Meanwhile, Min Raj Kandel, president of National Cooperative Federation of Nepal, stated that the country’s milk industry is currently facing losses worth Rs 15 million every day. The meeting was called by the committee to discuss with the stakeholders about the impact of the coronavirus on the agriculture sector.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 12, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.