Bananas kept on display for sale at a banana shop in Janakpur. Photo: Republica
DHANUSA, Nov 2: Bananas worth Rs 10 million have been imported to Janakpur for Chhath festival, the biggest festival of people living in the tarai region.
Rabindra Sah, general secretary of Janakpur Fruits and Vegetables Traders Association, said that bananas were imported to Dhanusa district in huge quantities focusing the Chhath festival.
As the number of people taking part in the Chhath rituals is increasing day by day, the demand for the fruit has increased, according to Sah. “The number of people celebrating Chhath is increasing and if bananas are not brought into the market as per the demand, the price soars,” he said, “Bananas worth Rs 9 million were imported last year and this year the import to Dhanusa has gone up to Rs 10 million.”
He said banana became expensive after the government made it mandatory to examine pesticide on the fruit. He called for proper management of pesticide testing at the Nepal-India border point.
Krishna Kumar Sah, a banana trader, said this year’s floods affected banana fields because of which the cost for the product has gone up. “Floods have affected banana fields in Rajbiraj of Saptari and different places of India,” he said. “It has resulted in the reduction of production, because of which the price has gone up in the market.”
BANANA MARKET CROWDED WITH BUYERS
People have crowded the banana market to buy the fruit used in Chhath. The crowd has formed as the festival will start from Thursday and will be celebrated on Saturday. Traders say there is a shortage of bananas as the demand is greater than supply. Consumer are compelled to buy bananas paying double the real price as shortage hits the market.
Similarly, consumers complain that bananas in the market as per the demand has not been made available due to less supply. Ashwin Singh, a resident of Janakpurdham Sub-metropolitan City-4, had to pay Rs 650 for a bunch of bananas. “I had bought a bunch of bananas for Rs 300 last year,” he said, “But this year I had to pay double money as there is a shortage in the market.”
“There has not been sufficient supply of bananas as per the demand,” said Krishna Sah, “The price has gone up with the shortage of the fruit in the market.” According to Sah, the demand of bananas for Chhath in Dhanusa stands at 150 trucks. He said only 80 trucks of bananas have entered the district for the festival.