By Our Correspondent,Rukum (West), Feb. 7: Farmers complained that the oranges produced in Rukum West have not found the market, so farmers have been exchanging oranges with paddy and in some places they have to sell the fruit at the price fixed by the traders.
The farmers of Banphikot Rural Municipality-6, Sayala of the district have exchanged oranges and paddy, while the farmers of Musikot Municipality-10 have sold them at cheap rate.
Man Bahadur Kusari, an orange farmer of Banphikot Rural Municipality-6, said that orange produced in the farm has to be exchanged with paddy after it was not sold in the market.
He cultivated oranges because the grain grown in his field was not enough to meet the demand for round the year, he said, adding that now the oranges grown in his garden were exchanged with rice in the village.
Pushpa Khadka Khatri of the same village said that she exchanged oranges produced in her garden with paddy grown in 10 katthas of land.
"Paddy does not grow in my field, but oranges grow in abundance. The rice giver's field does not grow oranges, but rice grows. In the village, rice has to be exchanged for oranges," she said.
She informed me that she thought it is better to exchange the oranges with the grain grown in the village rather than let the oranges not sold go to wasted.
About 30 households of Sayala village have similarly exchanged oranges and paddy.
Around 10 household farmers produce oranges in exchange with paddy produced by 20 household farmers.
Narma Pun, a local, informed that the practice of bartering has still existed in the village.
Although there is a difference in the price of the goods, he believed that the exchange of goods will maintain intimacy in the rural lifestyle.
Pun mentioned that it is unfortunate that farmers' products do not get a suitable market in time.
He also said that the local government should take initiative to find the market by building collection centres and cold storages.
According to Lokendra Oli, chief of agriculture branch of Banphikot Rural Municipality, around 42.5 tonnes of oranges were produced in Banphikot alone this year.
Out of this, 6.5 tonnes of oranges have been exchanged with rice, while 36 tonnes of oranges have been sold, according to the Rural Municipality.
Oli said that orange farmers have earned around Rs. 1.8 million from oranges sold at a rate of Rs. 50 per kg.