India bans import of Nepali tomatoes

Panchthar, July 3

With the ban on import of Nepali tomato in the Indian market, the local produce has started rotting in Panchthar of late.

As Indian traders stopped importing tomato produced in Hilihang, Falgunanda and Yangwarak rural municipalities and Phidim Municipality from Wednesday, tomato produced in the district has started rotting.

Earlier, Indian entrepreneurs used to import the produce to Siliguri via Jhapa’s Birtamode border. As much as 30 tonnes of tomato that had reached Birtamode before the ban also did not reach the Indian market.

“As Indian traders asked not to send the produce, tomatoes rotted in Birtamode and a huge volume of tomatoes ready to be harvested also rotted in the farm,” regretted Birendra Kafle, a farmer of Yangwarak of the district. The price of tomato, which reached Rs 32 per kg a few days ago, has fallen to Rs 15 at present, as per the Federation of Farmers’ Group Chairperson Ganesh Pokhrel.

District Agriculture Development Office, Panchthar, said that Yangwarak and Hilihang rural municipalities alone had exported tomatoes worth Rs 30 million last year. A total of 2,000 farmers had started farming tomatoes commercially in the localities.

Panchthar Chambers of Commerce and Industries Chairperson Deepak Nepal said Indian traders import the tomatoes from Nepal when there is insufficient supply in India.