Nepal: 27% of fruit, veg imported from India

Vegetable s and fruits imported from India accounted for 27 percent of sales at the Kalimati Fruit and Vegetable Market last year, the largest bazaar for fresh produce in the Kathmandu valley.

Similarly, Dhading district supplies 18 percent of the vegetables sold here, according to the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board (KFVMDB). During the period mid-February 2014 to mid-February 2015, 229,180 tonnes of vegetables were sold at the Kalimati market. The market received 61,878 tonnes of vegetable and fruits from India pointing to the degree of dependence on products from the southern neighbour. Regarding domestic shipments, Dhading farmers sent 41,252 tonnes of vegetables and fruits to Kalimati last year.

Executive Director of KFVMDB Tikaram Sharma, said that Indian products still had a dominating presence in the country despite efforts to encourage local products. “We have been encouraging farmers by helping them with marketing and shipping of their products. But we still have to depend on India due to the low production here,” he said.

“Sometimes, we are also forced to import a number of off-season vegetables because of lack of storage facility locally. He added that they were planning to set up a vegetable market in Chobhar besides operating a collection centre in Naubise, Dhading.

According to the board, vegetables made up 82.92 percent, fruits 10.55 percent, spices 4.7 percent and fresh fish 2.08 percent of the shipments delivered to the Kalimati market.

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