By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Nov.9: Though Indian government has banned the export of onions, they are still being brought to Nepal.
“The sufficient quantity of onion is entering Nepal from India despite the ban in the export by the government of India,” said Binaya Shrestha, information officer of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board.
According to him, around 60-70 tonnes of Indian onions is being supplied to Kalimtai market daily. This quantity is almost the normal import before the ban was declared.
He said that the somedays around 100 tonnes of Indian onion would arrive in Kalimati market.
He said that traders are also supplying onions to other vegetables market of the Valley.
He, however, said that the price of onion has yet to decrease even after sufficient supply of onions to meet the demand in the Kathmandu Valley.
The wholesale price of onion is Rs. 120 per kilogram in Kalimati market, he said, adding that the traders were encouraged to supply onion Nepal taking risk of ban to earn more profits.
Interestingly, all onions brought to Nepal are supplied from India is coming through Nepali customs as the traders are using informal ways to supply onion to Nepal, Shrestha told The Rising Nepal.
India had banned the export of onion on September 29 after its price was increased in the Indian markets due to short supply.
“The import of onion from India was almost nil for a week after the ban on its import was imposed. The supply of onion became regular after a week,” he said.
The Indian traders are bringing onions to Nepali markets mostly on motorcycles and cycles through customs by making a coordination with Nepali traders he said.
Vegetable trader at Kalimati Bhagawan Chandra Upreti said that the Nepali traders imported little amount of onions from China. However, the Nepali consumers have a liking of Indian onions which encouraged the Nepali and Indian traders to supply the items in the Nepali markets.
“The traders imported around 28 tonnes of onion from China during the Dashain festival. But they faced hard times in selling the Chinese products,” he said.
The price of Chinese onion is almost 50 per cent lower than the Indian onion, he said, adding that a kilogram of Chinese onion stood at Rs. 60 in wholesale market.
“We, the consumers, have to pay more prices to consume onion due to our dependence on Indian onions. The local production of onion will cover only 2 per cent and the remaining demand is covered through import,” he said.
The high amount of Indian onion products are brought to Nepal regularly while a very few quantities of is imported from China.
Some of local onions is consumed in the households of farmers and some is supplied to local market, he said.
According to the statistics of the Trade and Export Promotion Centre, the country imported onion worth Rs. 5.62 billion in the last fiscal year 2018/19.
About 178,500 tonnes of onion worth Rs. 5.62 billion imported in the last fiscal year.
The import of onion in terms of finances has been increasing every year due to increase in its price in the international market.
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