Nepal Food Corporation to diversify businessNepal Food Corporation (NFC) has said it is planning to expand its portfolio in trading of daily essentials.
Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) has said it is planning to expand its portfolio in trading of daily essentials.
Last week, the Supply Ministry had asked NFC to also maintain stock of pulses, edible oil, sugar, cereals and potato among others and sell them as per the need. The ministry had also directed the corporation to trade in food items produced in rural areas.
Currently, NFC maintains buffer stocks of paddy, rice and wheat. It also supplies livestock like goats and sheep during festival seasons. It is plans to produce wheat flour, edible oil and processed ginger under its brand name.
NFC Spokesperson Pawan Kumar Karki said they have started homework to start trading of other food items besides the regular ones. He said they will forward a proposal in this regard to the NFC board for final approval in a week.
The government has stepped up efforts to control black-marketeering and soaring food prices.
As per the Nepal Rastra Bank, the country’s inflation rate stood at 9.7 percent in the ninth month of the fiscal year. Food and beverage group price index saw a pickup of 9.3 percent.
Earlier too, NFC had time and again purchased cereals like buckwheat, millet and barley produced in rural areas to supply in needy areas.
According to the ministry, it asked the corporation two weeks ago to diversify its business to control prices through market intervention. Shreedhar Sapkota, secretary at the Supply Ministry, said the move could also help make NFC financially sound.
The supply of essentials was badly affected during four-and-half-month trade embargo imposed by India that ended in the first week of February. It also sent price of essentials soaring. With an aim to ease supply and control the soaring price, NFC a few months ago had sold rice, pulses, buckwheat and edible oil at subsidised rates on its mobile vans.
NFC said it would purchase the additional food items from its regular budget. Karki said the government has allocated Rs2.04 billion for purpose buying food items under NFC.