Millennium Post

Nepal launches 10-yr-plan to cut vegetable imports from India

Nepal government has launched a 10-year-plan to cut dependence on vegetable imports from India and make the land-locked country self-reliant in food.

Vegetable imports from India have continued to increase even despite the far-western region seeing a rise in commercial vegetable farming, a local media report has said.

According to the report, the region imports vegetables worth 55 billion rupees every year from India.

Exports volume, however, was negligible.

Potatoes worth 370 million rupees was imported annually.

Green vegetable imports stand at 180 million rupees, according to the Regional Plant Quarantine at Gadda Chauki - the second important border trading point with India after Birgunj.

According to District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), vegetable is cultivated on 4,450 hectares in Kanchanpur and the output is 56,000 metric tonnes annually.

Belauri, Krishnapur, Jhalari, Mahendranagar and Mahakali are some of the major vegetable producing areas in Nepal.

However, the production barely meets the local demand.

India exports around 25,000 metric tonnes of vegetables annually, the report in The Kathmandu Post said.

"More than 50 per cent of the imports is consumed in Kanchanpur district," said Yagya Raj Joshi, senior agricultural development officer at DADO. "Reaming is consumed in Banke, Kailai and other hilly districts of the far west."

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

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

The government has aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in wheat and vegetables by this fiscal year, and in paddy and potato in two years.

It has targeted making the country self-sufficient in maize and fish by the next three years, and in fruits like bananas, papaya and litchi by four years. By its end, the project envisages becoming self-sufficient in fruits like kiwi, apple and orange.
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