DOTI, Dec 21: Farmers are worried that they will not be able to easily market fruits including oranges grown on the Chure hills of Doti and Kailali due to the risk of the coronavirus infection.
At present, oranges, tangerine and lemon are abundant in the farmers' fields. Farmers are worried as the fruits produced have not found market as expected due to the risk of the coronavirus. The main income of the farmers here is orange, tangerine and lemon farming.
Roj Bahadur Kalel of Badikedar Rural Municipality-1 of Doti said that fruits have started rotting on the trees as they could not take the fruits including oranges and lemons to the market. “Fruits are abundant on the trees but they have started drying and rotting in the fields as the situation is not conducive to take them to the market,” he said. “This year’s yield will go to waste.”
Concerned over the lack of easy marketing amidst the global pandemic, farmers are further frustrated that agricultural produce, including oranges, cannot fetch a good price in local villages. The farmers have urged the local and province governments to take initiatives for timely delivery of agricultural produce including oranges and lemons to the market. They are the main cash crops in the area.
Sher Bahadur Bohara, an orange grower of Jorayal Rural Municipality-6, said that the morale of the farmers is low due to lack of market for their produce. The lack of road access to the production site as well as the lack of agricultural produce collection center is creating problems for easy marketing of the produce produced by the farmers.
Shyam Joshi of K.I. Singh Rural Municipality-5 said that the agricultural produce including oranges could not be brought to the market as the movement from one village to another has been banned due to the risk of COVID-19.
Badikedar, Jorayal, K.I. Singh and Bogtan Fudsil rural municipalities of Doti district are known as orange, lemon and soybean growing areas. The farmers have demanded that initiatives be taken for the marketing of the produce as the seasonal and non-seasonal fruits and vegetables produced by the farmers are being wasted due to the lack of collection center, market, transportation and marketing near the production area.
Apart from oranges, the farmers say they are not getting fair price for agricultural products like lemons, tangerine, ginger, turmeric, garlic and soybean due to the lack of a collection center and marketing problems. It is estimated that annually, oranges, tangerine and lemons worth Rs 10 million are sold in Doti alone.
Yagya Raj Joshi, chief of the Directorate of Agriculture Development, Dipayal, said that an initiative is being taken to market the agricultural produce including oranges and lemons along with the management of collection centers around areas where production takes place. “A special initiative is being taken for the collection of agricultural produce from the areas,” he said. “We will not let agricultural products go into waste.”