Over 7,000 stoves gifted four years ago still remain unsold
KATHMANDU, Dec 9: Food Management and Trading Company (FMTC) is still struggling to sell induction stoves gifted by China some four years ago when the nation was reeling under acute shortage of fuel due to Indian blockade.
Sharmila Subedi Neupane, the spokesperson for the state-owned trading company, said the induction stoves of reputed Chinese brand were gathering dust in warehouse due to lack of buyers. "The Chinese government had provided the stoves during the blockade, as the use of induction stove was high during that time due to shortage of LP gas," she added.
FMTC has been selling the stove for Rs 4,000 per unit.
According to Neupane, the stove was sold initially at Rs 12,000 per unit. But the price was lowered to Rs 4,000 per unit as the product failed to attract buyers.
The government had authorized National Trading Limited to sell the stoves. But FMTC has been selling them since the merger of National Trading Limited with Nepal Food Corporation. Post-merger, FMTC has managed to sell only 149 units. It has more than 7,000 induction stoves in stock.
Of late, the government has been requesting general public to use induction stoves to reduce use of LP gas for cooking. Similarly, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has plans to start a campaign for encouraging household consumers to switch to induction stoves for cooking to increase energy consumption.
Consumers, however, seem to be concerned on the quality of the stoves which have remained unused in the warehouse for nearly five years. People have also shown lukewarm response to the product as it requires a different set of cooking utensils, say officials of FMTC.
“We are getting few buyers who are aware of the product and its benefits. Similarly, some have doubts on the product," Sushila Ghimire, an assistant with FMTC, told Republica.
“We also teach people various safety measures that need to be considered while using induction stoves. Even though many Nepalis have adopted induction stoves, some are still reluctant to use it in their kitchen," she added.