Dipping cardamom prices leave farmers worried

Published On: October 31, 2016 03:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

ILAM, Oct 31: Sudden slump in the price of cardamom has become a matter of concern for the farmers here. Cardamom is the second major cash crop after ginger in Ilam district. 

The price of cardamom has decreased approximately Rs 25 thousand per maund (40 kilogrammes) compared to last year. It is nearly two months since the new harvest hit the market. 

Although the price per maund was Rs 70 thousand in the beginning when the new harvest started coming in the market, it has slumped in the range of Rs 50 thousand to Rs 55 thousand. 

Bijaya Khaki, a cardamom trader from Ilam Bazaar, said cardamom has been trading at Rs 50 thousand per maund these days. He said the price has constantly declined with the arrival of the new harvest in the market. 

Cardamom farmers say that the constant slide in the price has resulted in big losses to them. 

"Last year we sold cardamom for Rs 100 thousand per maund. But this time it is hardly selling at Rs 50 thousand," Kamal Lamichhane, a cardamom farmer at local Aamchok, said. 

Cardamom trader Prakash Agrawal said the cardamom that is brought to the market from different villages is not good in quality, hence the slump in prices. 

Around 400 maunds of cardamom was exported to Jhapa from Ilam district this year, according to the Cardamom Traders Federation, Ilam District chapter. Ilam produced 558 metric tonnes of cardamom last year. RSS 

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