Surging demand causes maize price to skyrocket 30 per cent

Kathmandu, January 7

Price of maize surged by a whopping 30 per cent in the last five years whereas paddy price went up by just 15.5 per cent, as per the market price study of the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD).

Based on data collected from the seven major market destinations — Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj, Bhairahawa, Narayangadh, Pokhara, Biratnagar and Janakpur — the average price rise of maize over the five years was 29.67 per cent.

The price of maize was Rs 2,214 per quintal in 2012, which had soared to Rs 2,871 per quintal in 2016. Meanwhile, price of paddy was Rs 1,857 per quintal back in 2012, which increased to Rs 2,145 in 2016, according to the MoAD study.

“Price of maize increased significantly due to low production as compared to the demand,” explained Shankar Sapkota, joint spokesperson for MoAD, adding, “Paddy price growth was relatively sluggish as compared to maize because the cheaper rice imported from India has been stabilising the price of rice in the domestic market.”

Among the surveyed seven market destinations, price of maize soared by 66.67 per cent — from Rs 2,100 per quintal in 2012 to Rs 3,500 per quintal in 2016 — in Janakpur. The price of paddy in Janakpur, however, rose by just 2.9 per cent in the same period — from Rs 1,700 per quintal in 2012 to Rs 1,750 in 2016.

Likewise, maize price increased by a staggering 53.57 per cent in Pokhara in the review period — from Rs 2,800 each quintal in 2012 to Rs 4,300 per quintal in 2016. Paddy price, however, went up by 25 per cent in Pokhara — from Rs 2,850 per quintal in 2012 to Rs 3,500 per quintal in 2016, as per the study.