Kathmandu: The Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) has failed to sell the beans and buckwheat it has procured in Karnali for sale in Kathmandu.
As a result, around 800 quintals of beans and 400 quintals of buckwheat remain in stock even though the NFC has put out a tender, said Shankar Sapkota, spokesman at the NFC.
“Aiming to clear the stock of beans and buckwheat through auction sale, we called tenders twice, but no one applied,” he said.
The Corporation has been supplying Karnali’s beans and buckwheat with the aim of promoting local products in the Kathmandu Valley at a reasonable price for the last three years.
Sapkota also said that buyers hesitated to buy them even after the NFC put them on sale at a rate lower than their market prices.
“Our products are cheaper than the products available in the market. But still people do not buy them,” he said.
According to him, the beans sold by the NFC are cheaper by Rs. 100 per kilogram than their prices in the market.
Currently, the NFC is selling beans at Rs. 150 per kilo and buckwheat at Rs. 90 per kilo from its Thapathali-based selling counter.
Demand for beans and buckwheat was very good, and no stock was left in the first year we began marketing, he said, however, their stock has been piling from the second and third year due to the NFC’s inability to market them.
The corporation has been procuring beans and buckwheat from the four districts of Karnali, including Humla, Jumla, Kalikot and Mugu, under the Karnali Special Programme.
The government has been allocating budget to purchase the local products from Karnali to ensure their access to the market.
“We are preparing to sell the goods by using delivery vans to clear the stock at the earliest,” he said.
Although the NFC had also put them on display at the fair price shops opened during the Dashain festival, the stock could not be cleared, he said.
The NFC has supplied all the purchased beans and buckwheat from Karnali in the past three years to Kathmandu. The Corporation is planning to diversify its markets to Pokhara, Nepalgunj and other areas.
The Corporation has plans to purchase only 600 quintals of beans and 150 quintals of buckwheat this year and has started to procure them in the four districts of Karnali Zone.
“We have allocated Rs. 10 million for the programme this year,” he said.
The NFC will fix the selling price of the products based on the purchase price and transportation cost, he added.