Blockade a boon

PANCHTHAR: The protracted Tarai agitation and border blockade have turned out opportunities for vegetable farmers in Panchthar.

“Earlier, we had to send our produce to the Capital and bordering Indian cities, but now the demand is high in the local market,” said Tikaram Adhikari of Nangi, adding, “As vegetables are produced locally, there is not much fluctuation in prices either.” Nangi, Tharpu and Amarpur VDCs produce a large amount of tomatoes among other vegetables and fruits.

According to District Agriculture Development Office, tomatoes worth around Rs 50 million were exported from Nangi, Amarpur and Tharpu to other districts last year.

“We sell our produce in domestic markets and make profit. Locally grown vegetables are sold at up to Rs 33 per kg against Rs 20 to 22 last year,” said farmer Upendra Adhikari.

More farmers are taking up vegetable farming in Tharpu, Nangi and Amarpur villages after the office started providing technical support.