Kathmandu: Nepal Food Corporation (NFC), the state-owned food supplier, is planning to purchase around 276,000 quintals of paddy from various parts of the country this year.
The corporation has already purchased around 50,000 quintals of paddy out of 276,000 quintals planned this year, said Shankar Sapkota, spokesman at NFC .
The NFC is currently purchasing paddy from Kailali, Bardiya, Banke, Dhangadi, Nepalgunj, Lahan, Birgunj, Bhairahawa and Jhapa.
The purchasing price of paddy ranges from Rs. 2,100 to Rs. 2,300 per quintal based on paddy variety, he said and added that the prices of paddy varied at different places based on their quality.
The Primary Procurement Committee, formed under the chairmanship of the Chief District Officer (CDO), will fix price of products, he said. “The committee has fixed the price considering the local market price. The representatives of farmers and of the NFC are in the committee.”
“We are expecting to produce 170,000 quintals of rice from 276,000 quintals of paddy. Besides, we will purchase additional rice if required,” he said.
The corporation has allocated Rs. 740 million budget to purchase paddy for the current fiscal year, he informed.
Currently, the corporation has around 100,000 quintals of rice in its stock.
He said that the corporation had to keep 330,000 quintals of rice in buffer stock every year.
“We will maintain the stock over the year because this amount of food will be delivered during times of crisis,” he said.
The FNC has been supplying food to 23 highly food-deficit districts, including Taplejung, Sankhusawaba, Bhojpur, Solukhumbu, Okhaldhunga, Khotang, Manang, Gorkha, Mustang, Rukum, Rolpa, Dailekh, Jajarkot, Humla, Jumla, Mugu, Dolpa, Kalikot, Bhajang, Bajura, Achham, Baitadi and Darchula.
Apart from this, the corporation is planning to purchase around 350 quintals of beans and 140 quintals of buckwheat from Karnali and other remote districts this year to provide a market for these local products.
“This initiative of NFC will encourage the farmers to produce local products in large quantities. The consumers will have the opportunity to purchase fresh local products at reasonable prices,” he said.
He, however, said that the NFC had been encouraging locals to produce agro products with assurances to buy their products by the corporation itself.
He said that the corporation had planned to purchase around 140 quintals of soybean from Dailekh this year. The corporation has allocated Rs. 10 million for this programme.
Out of total, the NFC will buy around 100 quintals of beans and 30 quintals of buckwheat from Jumla, around 100 quintals of beans and 30 quintals buckwheat from Kalikot, around 100 quintals of beans and 30 quintals of buckwheat from Mugu and around 50 quintals of beans from Mugu, he said.
Similarly, the NFC has planned to purchase 50 quintals of buckwheat from Bajura this year as the farmers of Bajura have been encouraged to produce buckwheat in large amounts lately.