UDAYAPUR, August 20: Heavy rainfall since the past week, which has caused physical damage and loss of property across the country, has not spared Udaypur either.
Prices have gone up in the district as a direct consequence of the rains. Vegetables, a major consumer item, have seen a price hike by three times after the rains.
Green leaves, which used to cost Rs 60 per kg before the rains, now costs Rs 250 in the district headquarters. Mustard leaves, which used to cost only Rs 25 per 200 grams is now priced at Rs 60.
Consumers with the poor economic condition have been hit by the unexpected price hike. They are forced to eat their meals without curry. The price of onion and potato used to be Rs 40 and 35, which have been hiked to Rs 120 and 75, respectively.
Similarly, the prices of capsicum, cabbage, and cauliflower have been set at Rs 35, 30, and 60 per 200 grams, respectively. Before the rains, their prices were below Rs 100 per kilogram. After the price hike, low-income people are eating their meals without vegetables.
"People like us cannot afford vegetables anymore," said Ghuran Sada, a laborer at the vegetable market. "I deliver imported vegetables to shopkeepers all day but I don't have the capacity to buy vegetables for myself."
Vegetables in Gaighat were already expensive in comparison to other markets. Because of the rains and floods, the market is facing supply crunch, causing the prices to increase further.
Traders say that 80 percent of vegetables in Gaighat are supplied from other districts. The supply of vegetables from Lalbandhi (Sarlahi), Dhankuta, Dharan, Golbazar, and Indian markets has been halted because of the rains. Around 200 tons of vegetables used to be supplied to Gaighat daily, which has shrunk to 15/20 tons of the local production.
Traders say that they have been unable to fulfill the demands of Nepali Army and Armed Police Force that consume more vegetables.
Because of lack of vegetables, we provide only 20-30 kilograms of vegetables to those who demand 200 kilograms and 15-20 kilograms to those who demand 100 kilograms.
Udayapur is dependent on other markets for the supply of vegetables, although commercial farming has started in the district.
According to District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), farmers have started commercial farming through the initiatives of different organizations and government bodies.
However, they are far away from producing to meet the market demand.