By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Dec. 10: Farmers are worried about not being able to sell their vegetables, especially cauliflower. As cauliflower is not sold, it is going to rot in the farmer’s fields. “Cauliflowers are blooming in the field, but we are not able to sell them due to the lack of market,” said Goma Kumari Adhikari, farmer of Panchkhal Municipality-7, Kavrepalanchowk.
She said that for a few days, the traders have asked him not to harvest cauliflower as the stock is piled up in the market due to its oversupply in Kathmandu Valley.
With the increasing supply of vegetables, the price has dropped significantly. Cauliflower is being sold for Rs. 5 per kg in Panchkhal, the main commercial centre of the district.
“Farmers are worried after the declining price of cauliflower in the market,” Ram Sharan Dahal, a local farmer of Panchkhal Municipality-3, told The Rising Nepal.
He said that even if we become able to sell cauliflowers, we not be able to recover the invested sum. He said that not only cauliflower but the price of tomatoes has dropped significantly.
Forget the profit we would not be able to cover the investment and expenses done on fertilizers and pesticides, as the price of cauliflower and tomatoes is very low this year, said Dahal. Tomatoes are being sold at Rs. 5-7 per kg from local farms at present.
He said that the rate of cauliflower should be at least Rs. 25 to get profit by deducting the production cost. The production of cauliflower was better this year compared to the previous year, but the price declined by almost five times this year compared to last year, he said.
He said that cauliflowers were sold for up to Rs. 25 per kilogram from the farm during this season last year. He said, “Farmers had to bear a huge loss as tomatoes were not sold in June. Now, they are not being able to sell cauliflowers, and they are suffering again. Therefore, due to a significant fall in the price of vegetables, farmers are facing a huge financial problem.”
About 200 kgs of cauliflower is produced in a two-day interval from his farm, said Dahal. Farmers said that even when cauliflowers remained unsold and were on the verge of being thrown away, federal and local governments have turned a deaf ear to the problems faced by farmers.
“If the government does not provide any support to the farmers when their produce is not being sold, there is no point in encouraging the farmers in agriculture,” they said.
Excessive supply, fall in demand
According to the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board (KFVMDB), the wholesale price of cauliflower remained at Rs. 10-15 per kilogram on Saturday.
Even in the retail shops, a kilogram of cauliflower is around Rs. 20 in retail vegetable shops in the valley at present.
Wholesaler of Kalimati market Bhagawan Chandra Upreti said that the price of vegetables, especially cauliflower and tomatoes had declined in the market due to excess supply. With the decline in demand, prices of seasonal vegetables have declined significantly in the Kathmandu Valley after Dashain.
He said that when people who went to the village to celebrate Dashain, Tihar and Chhath festivals did not return to Kathmandu, the consumption of vegetables decreased significantly.
The supply of vegetables has remained the same, but the demand is low which led to a decrease in the prices of seasonal vegetables.
The demand for vegetables was below 500 tonnes daily in the Kathmandu Valley while the supply of vegetables stood over 700 tonnes only at Kalimati market, he said.
“It is natural for vegetable prices to drop in the market because of the imbalance of demand and supply situation. Price has gone down causing distress to the farmers,” he said.
He said that the price of all seasonal vegetables, including radish and brinjal remained low in the market. The price of radish is Rs. 12 per kg and brinjal Rs. 25 in the Kalimati wholesale market.
However, the price of beans is Rs. 50 per kg, bitter gourd Rs. 60 per kg, cabbage Rs. 60 per kg, okra Rs. 80 per kg and capsicum Rs. 60 per kg in Kalimati wholesale market.