Demand slump hits cardamom farmers

Ramechhap, January 2

Farmers have been forced to sell their cardamom grown in the highlands at low price in Ramechhap for lack of buyers.

Farmers used to sell one kg cardamom at up to Rs 3,000 last year. Farmers, however, are forced to sell one kg of their produce at Rs 600 this year. The drop in price has left the farmers disappointed.

Cardamom is grown in the highlands, including Umakund Rural Municipality’s Gumdel, Bamti, Kuvukasthali, Priti, Bhuji and Gupteswor, among other places, in the district.

Compared to last year, the production of cardamom has dropped as well. “Prolonged rainfall led to the drop in cardamom production this year,” said farmer Dinesh Basnet of Bamti in Umakund Rural Municipality.

Despite the fall in production, farmers are forced to sell cardamom at a cheap price, Basnet said. He bemoaned that more than 10 tonnes of cardamom was in stock at his home.

Three species — golsey, ramsey and chibesey — of cardamom are grown in the northern highlands of Ramechhap.

Traders used to visit the farmers’ homes and purchase cardamom in the past. With the fall in price, they have not gone to farmers homes this year.

Temba Sherpa of Bamti at Umakund Rural Municipality said lack of buyers had hit the farmers hard. “Traders and entrepreneurs from as far as Jhapa, Biratnagar and Kathmandu visited cardamom farmers at their places. No one visited the village this year.”

Feature Image: File