GORKHA, June 11: This year, cardamom farmers of Gorkha district have stored the cash crop at their homes as they did not get the 'right' price for it. It is estimated that almost 15 tons of cardamom has been stored in the district in this way.
Farmers in Simjung, Bhachchek, Hamsapur, Kharibot, Thalajung, Kerabari of Ajirkot and Siranchwok rural municipalities have been engaged in the commercial farming of cardamom.
Last year, the farmers sold cardamom at Rs 2,200 per kilogram but this year they could not sell it even at Rs 1,500 per kilogram. “Last year, the contractor paid enough to the farmers for cardamom,” said Govinda Gurung, district chief of the Federation of Large Cardamom Entrepreneurs of Nepal.
“But now the contractors are refusing to buy the cash crop at a good price. Some want to buy at Rs 1,000 per Kg,” said Devraj Dhital of Ajirkot - 2, Kharibot.
He himself has stored around 2,000 kg of cardamom at his house. “Last year, we sold the crop at a higher price. This year, I have stored it at my house in the hope of getting a better price later,” he said.
After the crop fetched better prices in the previous year, the numbers of farmers involved in cardamom farming had increased. Even the production has increased in Gorkha.
Farmers said, they are not getting a good price because the cardamom prices have gone down in the international market.
Karna Bahadur, a cardamom farmer in the district, said that their income source has been disrupted at a time when they are supposed to build their quake-damaged houses as they haven't been able to sell their cardamom at a good price.
“Cardamom farming seems profitable, but we did not get the right price this year,” he said. The farmers have been stored the stockpiles of the crop in grain bins and sacks and are worried that it might decay.
The farmers expect the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) to coordinate with the traders to sell their cardamom.
“We don't have a separate mechanism to sell it. We will coordinate with the traders but so far no one has come to buy cardamoms,” said Yam Kumar Shrestha, a senior officer at DADO.