Panchthar tomato farmers profit from blockade

PANCHTHAR: The blockade imposed by India and the political unrest in Tarai region have left adverse impacts on the overall trade activities of the country. However, the blockade has made good impacts for tomato farmers of Nagi and Amarpur VDCs in Panchthar district.

The farmers could not find sufficient market for their produces in early years as the vegetables imported from India would dominate various places. However, this year, they have been able to sell them when they are fresh as the demand is high from various parts of eastern Nepal .

They export the vegetable to Phidim of the district as well as to neighbouring districts  Taplejung, Illam, and Jhapa districts.

"Not only the tomatoes but all the agricultural products in the VDCs do have market now," informed Tikaram Adhikari, a farmer from Nagi-3.

Earlier, they were forced to send their products to Kathmandu, Darjeeling and Silguri also. But this time, it has been difficult to fulfill the demand of neighbouring districts only, said Adhikari.

The tomatoes worth Rs 50 million were produced in the two VDCs in the last fiscal year, reads the data of District Agricultural Development Office.

A farmer, Upendra Adhikari, informed that this year they are selling tomatoes at the rate of Rs 30 per kg.