The government of Nepal on 22 January 2017 launched a 10-year-plan that seeks to cut its reliance on vegetable imports from India. The plan seeks to make the land-locked nation self-reliant in food by boosting domestic production.
Highlights of the 10-year-plan
• The government plans to adopt the modern farm techniques, which would lead to boost the productivity of the nation and make it self-reliant in food.
• With this plan, the government wants to achieve self-sufficiency in vegetable sand wheat by fiscal 2017-18.
• The government also aims at achieving self-sufficiency in paddy and potato in two years.
• The plan targets to make the country self-sufficient in maize in fish by the next three years.
• In the context of fruits like papaya, litchi and bananas, it will attain a self-sufficiency situation in next four years.
• By its end, the plan/project envisages to become self-sufficient in fruits like apple, kiwi and orange.
Kathmandu Post, a local media of Nepal, reports that even as the far-western region has seen a rise in commercial vegetable farming, the land-locked country witnessing a continuous rise in the imports of vegetables.
According to official data, the region annually imports vegetables worth Rs 55 billion from India. Exports volume, however, was negligible, the report said.
Data of imports, as per the Regional Plant Quarantine at Gadda Chauki
• Potatoes: Annual imports worth Rs 370 million
• Green vegetable: Annual imports stand at Rs 180 million
Regional Plant Quarantine is the second important border trading point with India after Birgunj.
Cultivation and output of vegetables in Nepal
District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) of Nepal suggests that vegetable is cultivated on 4450 hectares in Kanchanpur and the annual output is 56000 metric tonnes. Some other major vegetables producing areas in Nepal include Jhalari, Krishnapur, Belauri, Mahendranagar and Mahakali. But the production fails in meeting the local demand.
India’s export to Nepal
As per the report of the Kathmandu post, India exports nearly 25000 metric tonnes of vegetables annually to Nepal. Of these imports, about 50 per cent vegetables are consumed in Kanchanpur district. Rest imports are consumed in Kailai, Banke and other hilly districts of the country.