Nepal: Ginger exports see fall of 66%

Exports of products identified as having high export potential by the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) increased marginally by 2.08 percent in the last fiscal year 2013-14.

The annual report of the Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC) shows that shipments rose to Rs 27.41 billion in the last fiscal from Rs 26.85 billion in the previous fiscal. Of the 13 exportable goods identified under the NTIS, exports of 10 products grew while exports of three farm-based products -- lentils, tea and ginger -- saw a drop.

Ginger exports suffered the greatest fall of 66.2 percent. Shipments plunged to Rs 449.9 million from Rs 1.33 billion. However, Narendra Kumar Khadka, president of the Nepal Ginger Producers’ Association, said that the TEPC’s record was misleading..

“As most of the ginger exports to India are done without stating the correct quantity on the declaration forms, the actual figure should be much higher than what is shown in the government’s official records,” he said. “Traders ship up to three truckloads of ginger in a single consignment to avoid paying the high quarantine fee in India.”

Khadka admitted that exports of Nepali ginger had not increased massively due to the failure to improve the quality. According to him, the spicy root is in high demand in India, Bangladesh and the Gulf countries. “If there was a processing plant, exports could have been increased several times,” he said, adding that an investment of Rs 200 million in the least would be needed to set up such a facility.

After ginger, exports of lentils and tea were down 23.5 percent and 0.7 percent respectively. However, exports of the rest of the 10 products increased last year.


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