Kathmandu, 4 Jan 2014: Despite its brand name as an agricultural country, Nepal imports fruits worth Rs 6 billion annually.
It is said that the domestic production is sufficient to meet the demand for only four months.
According to Nepal Fruits Retailers Business Association, the internal production is just 25 per cent while two-third amount is imported from foreign countries.
The Association said that the mango production in the country meets the national demand for only three months while banana production is sufficient only for four months.
Mostly, Nepal imports fruits from Himachal, Kashmir, Nasik and Nagpur of India and different provinces of China.
A study carried out by the Association reveals that apple, orange, banana, pomegranate, grapes, mausam(a kind of citrus fruit), watermelon, papaya and mango are mostly imported.
Despite the government stress on priority to fruits production at home, the country is dependent on fruits due to lack of trained human resources and training to farmers and investment-friendly environment.
Improved seeds, saplings, fertilizers, technology as well as standard packaging and grading of our products should be given top priority, the Association said.
Grants to the fruit farmers, retention of the returnee migrants in fruits production could be some better tools for increasing fruit production in the country.