Food stock adequate for festivals, claims NFC

KATHMANDU: Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) has claimed that there will be no food shortage during the festival despite the ongoing obstructions at the Indo-Nepal border points.

The Corporation has assured that it has adequate stock of food items like salt, oil, sugar and lentil among others that would last for three to four months.

"There is no reason to panic due to the border obstructions as the government has adequate food stock," shared Shree Maniram Khanal, spokesperson of the Corporation.

Binod Babu Wagle, Chief of the Corporation, said, "The only issue facing the Corporation is the transportation of the food items as the border obstructions has led to the fuel crisis in the country."

The fair price shop the Corporation had been running at Ramshah Path in the Capital on the onset of the Dashain has been cancelled this year due to the problem in transportation, he added.

Although the NFC claims of no food shortage, complaints of black marketing from various quarters have been coming. For instance, Sumitra Nagarkoti from Jhapa, now in Buddhanagar in Kathmandu, commented that first it was difficult to find goods in the market and if found, she had to pay higher price for it.

NFC Chief Wagle refutes it, "There is no food shortage in the market. The problem lies in its transportation."

Unlike in the previous festivals, the supply of goats has reportedly gone down in the Capital due to the obstructions at the border points.

According to the NFC, supply of goats to Kathmandu from places like Makawanpur, Banke, Bardiya, Surkhet and Lahan is yet to be made.

The NFC, however, said they are planning to bring in around 1,000 chyangra (Mountain goats) from Mustang, within a couple of days, to make up the demand for goats.

NFC Spokesperson Khanal said that the NFC branch used sell around 3,000 goats and chyangras every Dashain in the past.

Balaram Kunwar, Tukucha Goat Market Operation Committee under the Animal Purchase and Sale Area Committee, said that around 80 percent of the goats would be supplied from India in the past.

He, however, said the supply from India is yet to be made due to the obstructions.

“The purchase and sale of goats will steadily go down if it fails to make the supply from India within a couple of days,” he said.

A goat trader Gyanu Shrestha urged the concerned authorities to ease the obstructions so as to make smooth supply of goats from India.

Local vegetable seller Narayan Adhikari said that shortage of liquefied petroleum gas has also made the matter worse.