Located in South Asia, Nepal is a landlocked country between China and India. Agriculture and allied activities are the primary sources of food, income and employment for a major section of population in Nepal. However, despite this, the country has been actively importing vegetables and pulses and a look at the figures reveal the same.
Reports highlight that Nepal’s imports of vegetables and pulses have exceeded Rs 17.4 billion in the first six months of the current fiscal year. For better understanding, Nepal’s fiscal year, runs from 16th of July to 15th of July of the following year.
Potatoes have been the most imported commodity during this period. Data suggests that Nepal has imported potatoes for a total value of Rs 5.5 billion in the last six months. Onions are the next most imported agro-commodity on the list. From 16th of July 2022 to 16th of January 2023, Nepal has imported onions worth Rs 3.15 billion.
Sorrow State Of Affairs For The Farmers Of Nepal
As per reports, Nepal’s vegetables and pulses imports have exceeded Rs 17.4 billion in the first six months of current fiscal year. While this is Rs 5 billion less as compared to the imports in the same period in fiscal year 2021/2022, the farmers of Nepal have started expressing their unhappiness.
They complain that owing to huge volumes of vegetable and pulses imports from India, their livelihoods have been affected. Since, they cannot sell their produce in the domestic markets of Nepal, the farmers have been protesting over high volume of imports.
Low Agri-Exports Adding Fuel To Fire
While country’s imports of green vegetables like potatoes, onions and pulses have already made things difficult for domestic farmers of Nepal, low exports of vegetables have stoked their worries.
Figures reveal that Nepal has only managed to export a meagre value of Rs 368 million worth of vegetables since the middle of July 2022 which is Rs 166 million less than what the South Asian country exported during the same period in the fiscal year 2021/2022.
The Bottom Line
Despite being an agrarian economy with an active involvement of 66% of the total population, Nepal has been importing vegetables and pulses in bulk quantities. According to data and statistics, Nepal’s vegetables and pulses imports during the last six months have crossed Rs 17 billion.
Potatoes have been the most imported agro-commodity during this period, followed by onions and tomatoes. Data suggest that the South Asian nation has imported around Rs 5.5 billion worth of potaoes and Rs 3.15 billion & Rs 278 million worth of onions and tomatoes respectively since the middle of July, 2022 till middle of January 2023.
Apart from vegetables, Nepal’s pulses imports have also been strong. According to data, the country’s pulses imports have been over 2.44 billion since the middle of July, 2022 till middle of January 2023 while the imports of grams have been over Rs 1.55 billion.
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