Sunday, 19 September, 2021

Humla grown apples lack market


By Rajan Rawat

Simkot, Sept.26: After growing a huge amount of fresh apples in their fields, the farmers in Humla are now worried about the market of their fruit.
Getting proper returns from their product has always been a challenge to the farmers in lack of market and transportation facility.
“I was anxiously waiting for harvesting apples after I planted apple trees in my garden,” a farmer Junga Bahadur Shahi said. “When the harvesting season approached, I realised there was no market to sell them.”
Shahi, a local of Simkot, has 500 apple trees in his garden. Last year, he dried fresh apples because he had no access to the market. This year, he has 40 to 50 quintal apples ready for harvesting in the garden.
Dhoche Rokaya, another farmer of Simkot-5, has similar tale to tell.
Rokaya said that he would harvest around 30 quintal apples this season. He had produced the best quality of the fruit, but lacked market to sell them.
These are some examples to show how all apple farmers in Humla are worried in lack of market for their farm products.
All seven rural municipalities in Humla district are famous for growing quality apples. The farmers here produce a huge amount of apples every year but they cannot sell them in lack of market and feed them to their cattle.
According to a government data, Humla has a capacity to produce 2,200 tonnes of apples every year, but this year only 173 tonnes of apples were grown. About 200 farmers here are growing apples in 540 hectares of land.
Farmers have to pay Rs.60 per kg if they transport their apples to Nepalgunj via airplanes, which leads to an increase in the selling price of their products, and they cannot compete with the apples imported from India and China in local markets.
Ram Bahadur Bhandari, vice chair of Humla Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the farmers did not dare to bring apples from one place to another due to high transportation cost.
“High transportation cost makes their apples expensive and the customers will not be willing to pay more for their products,” he said.