Subsidised rice demand lowers with road linkIncreasing number of people in Mugu, Kalikot and Jumla are no longer dependent on subsidised rice supplied by Nepal Food Corporation (NFC).
Increasing number of people in Mugu, Kalikot and Jumla are no longer dependent on subsidised rice supplied by Nepal Food Corporation (NFC).
The demand for subsidised rice in these districts have declined after local traders started selling rice, according to the NFC officials.
The fall in demand for subsidised rice has led the local NFC depots to further lower the price of rice stuck in their warehouses. And yet, there are few takers.
“We have lowered the price of rice down to Rs 10 per kilo but the people are still not willing to buy,” said Pruna Prasad Dahal, senior officer at the NFC regional office in Nepalgunj.
Around 17,000 quintals of rice remain unsold at NFC storage facilities in Mugu, Kalikot and Jumla for the past one year.
Ganga Prasad Sah, chief of NFC Mugu, said the depots in the district had 6,768 quintals of surplus rice last fiscal year.
“Around 15,000 quintals of rice was allocated to Mugu this year. From that, we still have around 9,000 quintals of rice left in storage,” he said.
With the local traders in Mugu supplying rice to almost every village, the NFC, which has been selling subsidised rice from its depots, has become almost irrelevant.
It is the same in Kalikot and Jumla. The NFC depots in these two districts together have more than 8,000 quintals of unsold rice.
“Local traders are selling different varieties of rice in the market. The food corporation just cannot compete,” said Anil Kumar Shrestha, chief of NFC Kalikot.
Hardly 2,000 quintals of subsidised rice got sold from the NFC depots in Kalikot last year. While the local traders are supplying rice to almost all parts of the district, the NFC has been selling subsidised rice from its depots at Khallaghat, Padamghat and Thirpu.
Road connectivity is a major factor behind lowered dependence of people on the NFC subsidised food programme. Officials said the people in Mugu, Kalikot and Jumla can now buy rice at their local markets because these districts are connected to the road network.
In Humla and Dolpa, however, the subsidised rice provided by the NFC is still in demand because the two districts are yet to be connected to the road network.