October 18, 2016 09:30 AM NPT
By: DB Buda
Traders are reaching doorsteps of farmers
JUMLA, Oct 18: Traders from different parts of the country are reaching Jumla to purchase potato grown by local farmers.
Brahmananda Adhikari, a trader based in Bhairahawa, reached Jumla a week ago. He has already struck a deal with farmers of Khalanga and surrounding villages to purchase 15 tons of potatoes. Talking to Republica, Adhikari says he plans to sell potatoes grown in the district in Pokhara. “Potatoes of Jumla taste as good as potatoes grown in Mustang district. Pokhara can be a good market for these potatoes,” Adhikari says, adding that he would purchase potatoes from as many farmers as possible.
Local traders, who have received orders from traders in other districts, are also offering high price to farmers.
Traders are reaching to farms in VDCs like Patmara and Dillichaur to purchase potatoes.
Sher Bahadur Budha, a farmer of Patmara-1, said he has sold 30 quintals of potatoes over the past week. “Until two weeks ago, we were not finding buyers for potatoes even at district headquarters Khalanga. Now, traders are coming to out doorsteps,” Budha said.
“Farmers are selling potatoes at Rs 22 per kg from their farms.”
Budha produced 80 quintals of potatoes this year. A kilogram of potatoes costs Rs 30 in Khalanga.
Budha estimates that potatoes worth millions of rupees have been traded over the past week.
Farmers, who had buried potatoes for storage, are also digging and selling their produce. Trucks returning from Jumla are seen carrying potatoes and apples.
Government officials say many farmers have increased production after the district was connected to the road network. Balak Ram Devkota, an officer at District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), Jumla, said many farmers in the district are attracted toward potato farming. Potato farming is done in most of the arable land in the district.
According to DADO Jumla, potato farming is done in 3,650 hectare in the district. Jumla produces around 26,000 tons of potatoes annually. Around 40 percent of the production is sold in the market.