Ginger farmers squeezed as price more than halves

- CHANDRA KARKI, TEHRATHUM
Farmers in Tehrathum have complained that it will be difficult for them to even recover their investment, which they had boosted significantly last year encouraged by handsome returns

Feb 25, 2017-Ginger price has more than halved to Rs22-24 per kg this season from last year’s price of Rs55 per kg.

Farmers in Tehrathum have complained that it will be difficult for them to even 

recover their investment, which they had boosted significantly last year encouraged by handsome returns.

Many farmers have invested money by taking loans from local lenders, cooperatives, and banks. 

Baliraj Sambahamfe, a farmer of Kowek, Myanglung Municipality 9, said he has cultivated ginger on five ropanies of land by buying sapling at Rs50 per unit. “Had last year’s price remained constant, I would have booked a minimum profit of Rs400,000,” he said.

Another farmer Som Niroula from Myanglung Municipality 4 said he also invested heavily to cultivate ginger on 10 ropanies of land. Niroula switched to the cash crop from traditional crops like corn and millet. “I had purchased a tonne of ginger sapling,” he said. “Now I don’t have any idea as to what to do next.”

According to District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), the fall in the price has come as a shock to the farmers who has invested heavily in the business. “For the past few years, the farmers have made a huge investment considering higher returns,” said Rohini Raj Ghimire, senior officer at DADO.

Worried, the farmers have sought the government’s help in ensuring market for 

their product.

Ghimire said ginger price dropped this year due to low demand from India, which is the largest market for Nepali ginger. “Being over-dependent on a single market led to this situation,” he said.

According to DADO, ginger is cultivated on 1,067 hectares of land in Tehrathum. Apart from Tehrathum, Dhankuta, Sankhuwasabha, Ilam and Pachthar districts some of the major ginger producers.

Published: 25-02-2017 10:10

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