Dhankuta village exports veggies worth Rs370m

- RAMESH CHANDRA ADHIKARI, Dhankuta

Sep 6, 2015-

Sindhuwa village in Dhankuta exported off-season vegetables worth Rs370 million this year. All the consignments were made to the Indian market through Jogbani and Kakarvitta border points.

These vegetables were collected and exported through Sindhuwa Agriculture Store and Sindhuwa Multipurpose Cooperatives.

The vegetables were exported after the Indian government gave quarantine clearance, according to Megendra Gurung, chief of the Sindhuwa Agriculture Store, which collects vegetables from Dhankuta and Terhathum districts for exports. Farmers from Sankhuwasava are also associated. On an average, 12 tonnes of vegetables are exported to India every day. This year, exports of cabbage and cauliflower stood at 2,500 tonnes and 800 tonnes, respectively. Other exportable vegetables items were radish, pea and chilly.

“Farmers are getting attracted towards commercial vegetable farming due to high value and quick returns,” said Gurung. “India has been a potential market for Nepali vegetables, particularly produced in the eastern hill districts.”

A study has shown the eastern hills districts, especially the Dharan-Basantapur highway corridor, have the potential to export seasonal and off-season fresh vegetables to India’s Kolkata and Bangladesh’s Dhaka.

The highway corridor produces 10 different types of off-season vegetables. The farmers have been making handsome earnings, with each making Rs200,000 to Rs700,000 per year, said Jagat Bahadur Kafle, a farmer of Marekkathare 3. Kafle cultivates vegetables on his 30 ropanies of land.  

Tara Poudel, another farmer from Parewadin 6, said he earns Rs200,000 each year. “We are not worried about the market due to increased demand in the Indian market,” he said.

According to the Sidhuwa Multipurpose Cooperative, the demand from India is so high the farmers have been able to meet only 50 percent of the demand.

Vegetable prices plummet

Price of tomato, among other vegetables, in the eastern region has plunged three times due to prolonged strikes in the Tarai belt. According to the Agriculture Market Centre, demand for vegetables has dropped by 60 percent that has led the farmers to sell their produce at cheaper rates. Tomato price that was at Rs35 per kg a week ago has now fallen to Rs12. Vegetables produced here are supplied to Dharan, Biratnagar, Goalbazaar, and Chitwan, among other markets. However, indefinite strikes in Tarai have affected the demand. However, the farmers said they do not have alternatives to selling the products at cheaper rates as the vegetables need to be harvested before they are matured. (PR)

Published: 06-09-2015 08:33

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