Vegetable imports from India to Nepal on rise

Kathmandu, Jan 22 (IANS) Vegetable imports by Nepal from India have continued to increase even though the region has seen a rise in commercial vegetable farming, a media report said on Sunday.

According to recent statistics, the region imports vegetables worth around Nepalese Rs 55 billion (around $504.29 million) every year. The export volume, however, is negligible, the Kathmandu Post reported.

Potato worth Rs 370 million is imported on an annual basis while green vegetable imports stand at around Rs 180 million, the report said.

Several government and non-government agencies have launched schemes to motivate farmers to begin commercial farming. Belauri, Krishnapur, Jhalari, Mahendranagar and Mahakali are some of the major vegetable-producing areas.

According to the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), vegetables are cultivated on 4,450 hectares of land in Kanchanpur, while the output stands at around 56,000 tonnes annually.

However, the production barely meets the local demand, and around 25,000 tonnes of vegetables are imported from India annually. “More than 50 per cent of the import is consumed in Kanchanpur district,” said Yagya Raj Joshi, senior agricultural development officer at DADO.

In a bid to decrease reliance on imports, the government has launched a 10-year scheme to boost domestic production.

Starting this fiscal, the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Modernisation Project has envisioned adopting modern farm techniques to boost productivity, and making the country self-reliant in food.

–IANS

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