Nepal cooperatives blame Ministry for wastage of agri products

In Nepal, stakeholders of the cooperatives sector have blamed the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) for not managing the market for local products correctly during the lockdown period.

Speaking during a virtual interaction organised by the Society of Economic Journalists – Nepal (Sejon), representatives of the cooperatives sector said that huge amounts of agriculture products were wasted during the lockdown due to lack of policy level coordination from MoALD.

“In the initial phase of the lockdown, we had written a letter to the agriculture minister requesting for a halt on the import of vegetables from India and creating an environment to supply local vegetables to the market from across the country,” said Minraj Kandel, president of National Cooperative Federation of Nepal (NCFN). “However, he bluntly refused saying that it is not possible.”

While local vegetables were left to rot in the fields and farmers had to destroy their produce during the lockdown, vegetables worth Rs 46 billion (€331 mln) were imported from India, Kandel told The Himalayan Times.

According to him, during the lockdown farmers were forced to destroy vegetables worth Rs 1.8 million in Makawanpur alone, while some were impelled to sell cauliflowers at just five rupees per kg.

He further mentioned that the government did not give priority to even those agricultural produces that were cultivated on government land. Vegetables, locally produced fruits, milk products, meat and livestock products are not getting a market and reasonable price due to which the farmers have been highly affected.

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