Nepal Food Corporation depots in Bajura have pulled their shutters after they sold all their stock rice. Food Management and Trade Company Limited has issued a notice stating that rice stock in all the depots of the district has been sold.

The depots have been closed at a time when the festivals are round the corner. Kolti depot had closed its service a month ago.

Around 9,104 quintal rice was needed for the fiscal 2020-21 at Martadi, 8,000 quintals at Kolti, and 2,200 quintal at Kawadi.

Food Management and Trade Company Limited Martadi Branch Chief Mekh Raj Ojha said that they had to close the depots as they had no rice left. Around 6,000 quintals was allotted for Martadi, 7,000 quintals for Kolti and 3,000 quintals for Kawadi depot in this fiscal. "The process for purchasing rice has yet to start and there is no possibility that the district folks will get rice even during Dashain," he added.

Chief District Officer Gopal Kumar Adhikari said that the depots were closed as the authorities at central level paid no attention despite frequent requests. He said that his office had written to the centre for the supply of rice, but Food Management and Trade Company Central Office did not pay attention to address the problems. According to the statistics of Agriculture Knowledge Centre, Bajura, around 9. 21 per cent of the total land was fertile in the district. The district is at high risk of food security. The district faces food crisis every year.

The food supply was halted after the landslide destroyed Sanphe-Martadi Road section and Martadi-Kolti section. The road sections could not come into operation for the last four months.

The locals are compelled to buy the rice at a exorbitant price from the local markets. At a time when cheap price shops have come into operation in different places of the country, Bajura folks are compelled to pay a hefty price for rice after the closure of rice depots.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 21 2021, of The Himalayan Times.