November 4, 2016 02:25 AM NPT
By: DB Buda
JUMLA, Nov 4: Apples grown in Jumla have fetched Rs 100 per kg in the district headquarters itself.
Local farmers, who had sold apples at Rs 70 per kg directly from their orchards in the harvesting season, got good price durig the Tihar festival. Because of this, many farmers have dug apples out from underground storage and taken them to market. They are selling apples at Jumla Airport, bus park, Bal Mandir and Jugadkhola area in the district headquarters.
According to District Agriculture Development Office, (DADO) Jumla, apple export from the district has been increasing in recent years. Traders in district headquarters Khalanga are buying apples at Rs 80 per kg from farmers and selling them at Rs 100 per kg. Government staffers deputed in district take apples with them when they return home, according to traders.
Dilip Rawal, a local of Lilakot of Tatopani VDC, said that farmers and traders could earn more money if there was proper storage facility in the district. “Organic apples do not rot if stored properly,” he said, adding that apple fetches good price during off-season (after June).
Local farmers are happy as they are getting good price for their products in the local market itself.
Surja Laxmi Rawal of Talium village has been visiting district headquarters regularly for the past week to sell apples. She said that she is getting Rs 100 for a kilogram of apples. “I am selling apples at Rs 10-20 per piece,” she said, adding that traders, who visit their homes, are offering good price for apples.
Majority of farmers store apples with wheat and barley husk by digging a deep hole in the ground. Some stores apple inside their home maintaining low temperature.
Local farmers say that apples produced in the district could be exported to big cities at high price if there was better storage facility in the district.
Currently, local farmers are selling royal, red and golden varieties of applies in the market.
Such is the demand for apples that traders have been selling apples of A, B and C grades at the same price apples in same price. Apples lower than D grade are used to make jelly, chips and alcohol.
Meanwhile, apple production in Jumla fell by 25 percent this year compared to the last year. Severe weather conditions like hailstorms damaged production this year. Apples worth Rs 140 million have been sold from Jumla this year, according to Bishnu Bahadur Mahat, chief of DADO Jumla.