250 tonnes of ginger stranded in MakwanpurMore than 250 tonnes of ginger have been stranded in Makwanpur after India restricted exports for the past two weeks, affecting large number of farmers and traders.
More than 250 tonnes of ginger have been stranded in Makwanpur after India restricted exports for the past two weeks, affecting large number of farmers and traders.
It is currently prime ginger production season and the key market is India. Farmers said that their produce has started to rot after the ban was imposed. “Both the traders and farmers have been affected by the restriction,” said Gopal Gautam, central member of Ginger Producers and Traders Association. The district has been producing 5,000 to 7,000 tonnes of ginger annually. Out of these, 95 percent are exported to India.
Nirmal Gadal, chief of District Agriculture Offices, said that exports have been halted since last two weeks. He said that they don’t know the exact reason. “But India authority has been coming up with various reasons to ban the export of Nepali ginger,” said Gadal. Last year India had also banned Nepali ginger stating that traders have been mixing Nepali ginger with Chinese ginger which had high levels of pesticide residue.
Although the government has accorded high priority to promote ginger as a high value crop, it has not been able to facilitate its trade.
As a result, farmers have been suffering during the production season each year. Makwanpur is the fifth largest producer of ginger in the country.
Trader Badri Sah has been worried by the India’s ban. He has 30 tonnes of ginger stocked at his warehouse. “Nearly 2 tonnes have rotten now,” said Sah. The ban has also affected the prices. Traders said that they normally used to buy ginger at Rs40 per kg during mid-June. Now, they don’t even purchase at Rs20 per kg. Ginger is produced on 421 hectares in Makwanpur. The annual production hovers at 6,425 tonnes.
According to Nepal Ginger Profile 2016, which was produced jointly by UK Aid-funded Samarth-Nepal Market Development Programme and the Nepal Ginger Producers and Traders Association, the spice has huge overseas trading potential if substantial improvements can be made in yield, quality and volume by investing more on research and development.
Even without a substantial improvement in quality, small trading hubs in India will continue to be major markets for local ginger, said the report.
Globally, Nepal is the third largest ginger producer after China and India. In 2012-13, Nepal’s total ginger production reached 235,000 tonnes, out of which about 60 percent was exported. India is the main export market for Nepali ginger. The southern neighbour buys close to 94 percent of Nepal’s fresh ginger and 6 percent of processed ginger.