TEHRATHUM, Oct 25: Cardamom farmers in the district are upset with the slump in the price of cardamom, the highest fall in cardamom prices in a decade.
The current price of 40 kilogram (1 maund) of cardamom is Rs 25 thousand in this season. Last year the price of one maund of cardamom was Rs 80 thousand.
Tulasi Dhakal, a cardamom trader from Myanglung, the headquarters of Terhathum district, said that the cardamom price is further sliding and there are no indications that it will go up any time soon.
The price of cardamom which was Rs 2,500 per kilogram last year has decreased to Rs 650 this year.
The trading of cardamom has also slumped this season with the decrease in the price. Ther small traders have refrained from selling cardamom.
Cardamom is grown in 40 districts of the country mostly in Terhathum, Taplejung, Panchthar and Sankhuwasabha, among others in the eastern Nepal.
More than 5,000 metric tonnes cardamom is exported from these districts annually, which brings in revenue Rs 6 billion a year. Of this amount, the cardamom farmers get more than Rs 5 billion. Ninety-nine per cent of the total export of cardamom from Nepal goes to India.
According to the exporters, one major cause of the slump in the price of cardamom is India has blamed the cardamom produced in Nepal as low-quality.
Terhathum district alone exported 250 metric tonnes of cardamom worth Rs 313.7 million in the fiscal year 2016/17, according to the District Agricultural Development Office, Terhathum.