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NFC to buy beans, grains from farmers in Karnali

Kathmandu, December 6, 2016: Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) plans to buy 113 tonnes of beans, buckwheat and naked barley from four districts in Karnali zone to ensure that local farmers do not suffer for lack of market access.

The state-owned company has received Rs25 million from the government to buy the farm products which may otherwise go to waste due to the remoteness of the region which is also the country’s least developed part.

Last year, NFC bought 79 tonnes of food products valued at Rs10 million from Karnali.

The company board made a formal decision to buy the grains and beans last month, according to NFC General Manager Shiva Hari Shrestha.

Prices of the food products have been fixed by district-based pricing committees headed by the respective chief district officer, Shrestha said.

This year, NFC will be buying 80 tonnes of beans and 33 tonnes of buckwheat from Jumla, Mugu, Humla and Kalikot districts.

The company plans to buy 45 tonnes of beans and 8 tonnes of buckwheat from Jumla and 13 tonnes of beans and 10 tonnes of buckwheat from Mugu. Similarly, it will procure 5 tonnes each of beans and buckwheat from Humla besides 17 tonnes of beans and 10 tonnes of buckwheat from Kalikot. NFC will pay farmers in Humla Rs160 per kg for beans and Rs50 per kg for buckwheat. Farmers in Mugu will receive Rs135 per kg for beans and Rs80-Rs100 per kg for buckwheat.

NFC is yet to fix prices for the food products it intends to buy from Kalikot and Jumla districts. Likewise, it has not made any decision on the quantity and prices of naked barley it plans buy.

NFC Spokesperson Shankar Sapkota said the corporation will sell the beans and grains from Karnali through its outlet at Thapathali, Kathmandu. According to him, beans will be sold at Rs150-200 per kg and buckwheat will be sold at Rs110-120 per kg. Recently, NFC has also decided to buy 40,000 tonnes of paddy to replenish its buffer stock. It will buy paddy from farmers in Mahendranagar, Dhangadhi, Rajapur, Nepalgunj, Bhairahawa, Birgunj, Janakpur, Lahan, Biratnagar and Birtamod. Last year, NFC bought 15,000 tonnes of paddy from local farmers.

Likewise, it has initiated the process of buying 20 tonnes of ‘marsi’ paddy from Jumla. “We have asked the NFC office in Jumla to collect samples for lab testing,” Sapkota said.