The nation of Nepal exported 11,673 tons of white cabbage to India in the first five months of the fiscal year. Nepal’s export trade may have lost steam in the past few years, but shipments of Nepali cabbage to India have been going at double speed this fiscal year. During the whole of the last fiscal year, exports of the common vegetable totaled 11,081 tons.
Nepal's eastern hill districts have been exporting cabbage in the thousands of tons to India with a steep rise in demand there for organic vegetables. The cabbage is mainly produced in Sankhuwasabha, Tehrathum and Dhankuta. The harvest begins in September. Traders said that the bulk of the cabbage goes to Kolkata, India. Because cabbage is cultivated mostly using organic methods in the eastern hill districts, demand has been growing in the Indian market.
According former government secretary Hari Dahal, Nepal needs to focus on import substitution as purchases of foreign products have reached alarming levels: “Nepal’s farmlands in the hills are very suitable for organic vegetable production. The country should benefit from this because demand for organic vegetables has grown by leaps and bounds globally.”