By A Staff Reporter, Kathmandu, Jan. 13: With the festival of Maghe Sankranti just round the corner, people are now busy purchasing yam as per their choices at different market places.
Almost dozens of yam varieties are available in the market of which prices range from Rs. 100 to Rs. 400, said Yashoda Shakya, a yam trader of Ason.
The price of yam in retail market is almost double of the wholesale market.
The yam varieties known as Ban Tarul, Seto Tarul, Pani Tarul, Hattipaile, root of Josephine, Patale Tarul, Madhesi Tarul, Simal Tarul and Rato Tarul among others are being sold in the market.
Bantarul or ‘forest-yam’ is the most expensive among all yams and it is being sold at Rs. 400 per kilogram at Ason.
Hattipaile, Simal and Madhise Tarul are trading at Rs. 100 per kilogram while Seto tarul is sold at Rs. 150 per kilogram, she said.
“Most of the consumers are buying Hattipaile, Simal and Seto tarul due to their cheaper rate. A consumer used to buy yam worth Rs. 1,000 to Rs.1, 200,” she said.
Another trader of Ason, Ram Prasad Shrestha, said that the price of yams supplied from the Terai is cheaper than those supplied from other districts due to quality.
“I am selling around a dozen of varieties of yam at present. The price of yam is getting cheaper this year as compared to the last year,” he said.
Now, he is selling a kilogram of Ban Tarul at Rs. 350-400 kilogram while he had sold a kilogram of same variety of yam at Rs. 450 a year ago.
The demand of yam was not likely to be high as in the previous years, he said.
Manju Pandey of Bhaishepati said that she purchased 2.5 kilograms of yam (patale) at Rs. 100 per kilo in Kalimati on Monday.
She said that the price of same variety of yam was Rs. 200 at Ason.
She said that different varieties of yams are available in the market but huge differences in their prices and high profit margins imposed by different retailers have forced the consumers to pay more than they would pay in the wholesale market.
Another consumer, Radhika Tamang, purchased two varieties of yam worth Rs. 1,000 at Asan on Sunday.
“I bought 3 kilograms of Seto Tarul and a kilogram of Ban Tarul for consumption,” she said.
The price of a kilogram of yam ranges from a minimum Rs. 40 to the maximum of Rs. 150 at the wholesale market, said Bhagawan Upreti, a wholesaler of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board (KFVMDB).
He said the Ban Tarul variety is being sold at Rs. 150 per kg which makes it the most expensive variety of yam currently available in the market. Another variety of yam, which is supplied from Sarlahi district, is being sold at Rs. 40 per kg.
Simal Tarul is being imported from India and is being sold at the wholesale market at Rs. 45 per kilogram.
The root of Josephine is being sold at Rs. 100 per kg at present while it was sold at Rs. 200 per kilogram a year ago.
The price of yam has decreased by 40 per cent in the wholesale market this year compared to last year even though a decrease in their supply because of low demand of yam.
Around 100 tons of yams are being supplied in Kathmandu on a daily basis for the past three days from various districts including Sarlahi, Dolakha, Chitwan, Palpa, Dhading, Ilam, Dhankuta, Kavre and various parts of Terai districts to the Kathmandu Valley.