Wed, July 17, 2024

Agricultural produce imported from India accounted for 38.68% of Nepali market in 1 year

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KATHMANDU: Farm produce imported from India has dominated the Nepali kitchen. A major percentage of vegetables and fruits has been imported from India, according to the one-year data of the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board. As per the data, onions imported from India in a period of one year accounted for 99%. Similarly, tomatoes imported from India made up 94.11%, Potatoes 60%, green peas 45%, gourds 39%, pumpkins 66%, moringa 77%, tamarind 99%, apples 81%, pomegranates 98%, papaya 81%, and grapes 81% of the Nepali market. In the face of increasing imports of agricultural products from India, economists have warned that the situation was not good for the country's economy when over half of its population is dependent on agriculture. According to the national census, 2078, 50.1% of the population survive on agriculture. There was a large import of agricultural produce from India, said the Board's information officer Binaya Shrestha. Agricultural produce imported from India in a span of one year accounted for 38.68%, he said and added, "Vegetables in a large quantity are imported from India." Of over 263 million kilogrammes of vegetables imported during the period, more than 101 million kg was imported from India, said the Board's Planning Officer Ramesh Dangol. China and Bhutan supplied over 100,000kg each, Bangladesh around 150,000kg, and other countries over 5,000kg. "Nepal is not self-sufficient in some vegetables. Failure to commercialise agriculture may be a reason. So, we are forced to import from foreign countries including India," said Dangol. Until a few years ago, around 80% demand for vegetables was fulfilled by domestic products, he said. He added, "Apples produced in Jumla district cannot reach here due to various problems. So, the fruit is imported from foreign countries to meet the demand. Lately, import of vegetables and fruits is increasing." The Kalimati market purchased vegetables from the local market including the Kathmandu Valley (Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts) and other districts including Dhading, Kavrepalanchok, Makawanpur, Chitwan, Sarlahi, Dolakha, Nuwakot and Gorkha. In the previous fiscal year, 2021/22, a total of 270,278 metric tonnes of vegetables and fruits were imported from foreign countries, according to the Board.
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JUNE 2024

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