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Consumers pick yams of their choice for Maghe Sankranti



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By Laxman Kafle
Kathmandu, Jan. 13: People in Kathmandu and elsewhere are now busy buying yam, as consuming yam is a part of Maghe Sankranti that falls on Thursday.
They boil the yam on the last day of Poush and eat it the next morning with ghee, chaku and molasses. They consume various kinds of yams, either boiled or with some condiments, while marking the Maghe Sankranti festival.
Almost a dozen varieties of yams are available in the market. The yam varieties known as Hattipaile, Ban Tarul, Seto Ghar Tarul, Pani Tarul, Patale Tarul, root of Josephine and Simal Tarul, among others, can be seen in the market these days.
The price of the yams varies based on their varieties.
Deepak Dhakal, who arrived in Ason from Baneshwor, said that he purchased different varieties of yams worth Rs. 1,070 Tuesday to celebrate the festival.
“I purchased two kilograms of Patale Tarul at Rs. 200 per kilogram, three kilograms of Hattipaile at Rs. 150 per kilogram and a kilogram of Ban Tarul at Rs. 220,” he told The Rising Nepal.
He said that the price of yams varies from shop to shop. A retailer of Ason, Anita Shrestha, said that she was selling yams at Rs. 100 to Rs. 220 per kilo based on their quality.
Large number of consumers tend to buy yams which are available at Rs. 100-180 per kg. The flow of consumers has increased in the market from Monday to buy yams.
“I am selling a kilo of Hattipale at Rs. 150, Patale at Rs. 200, Ban Tarul at Rs. 220 and roots of Josephine at Rs. 200 per kilo,” she said.
The demand for Josephine roots and Ban Tarul is very low compared to other varieties due to high rates. Another retailer of Tukucha Vegetable Market Roshani Upreti said that the price of yams had been increasing day by day from Sunday due to their rising demand.
A consumer normally buys around 3-5 kilograms of yam as per their choice and price, she said.
Yam wholesaler at Kalimati Fruit and Vegetable Market Gita Prasad Acharya said that the supply of yams had been growing in the market from last Friday.
He said the price of yams was comparatively higher this year than last year because of short supply, adding that yam had become expensive by Rs. 10-15 per kilogram this year.
He said the Ban Tarul variety was being sold at Rs. 220 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. 70 per kg. This is the cheapest variety of yam in the wholesale market.
Wholesale price of a kilogram of Patale is Rs. 140-150, Hattipaile Rs. 100-120 and Seto Ghar Tarul Rs. 110 and Pani Tarul Rs. 80.
He, however, said that the price of yam would increase further by Wednesday as the demand for yam would be high on Wednesday as the festival falls on Thursday.
Binaya Shrestha, information officer at the Kalimati Fruit and Vegetable Market Development Board, said that the transaction of yam had been increasing over the last few days as it is the main season to consume the item.
The domestic production of yam is enough to meet the demand this season, he said, adding that more than 60 per cent of yam in Kathmandu is supplied from Sarlahi district and the rest is supplied from other districts. Only 4-5 per cent yam, mostly Josephine roots, arrives from India, he said.
Daily around 150-200 tonnes of yams are being supplied from various districts, including Sarlahi, Dolakha, Palpa, Dhading, Ilam, Dhankuta, Kavrepalanchowk and various parts of Terai districts to the Kathmandu Valley for the last three days.
“About 963 tonnes of yam entered in Kalimati market by Tuesday in the month of Poush while about 1,115 tonnes arrived from the month of Shrawan. Meantime, around 681 tonnes of cocoyam and 497 tonnes of sweet potatoes entered in Kalimati market during the period,” he said.