Ilam-grown kiwi fruit saplings are being exported to Bhutan from the checkpoint in Kakadvitta in Jhapa district in an increasing number lately. The export of the saplings saw steady rise after Bhutan encouraged farmers to engage in kiwi farming, said Devindra Shahu, chief of plant quarantine in Jhapa.
A total of 1,200 saplings worth Rs 115,000 were exported since the beginning of the current fiscal year 2021/22, informed Shahu. Earlier, 200 saplings were imported from India in the fiscal year 2018/19 and 100 in 2017/18. “It is a good thing that kiwi saplings are being exported to India and Bhutan lately,” said Shahu. Earlier, Nepal had been importing kiwi from India. The Kiwi is commercially cultivated across 20,000 hectares in Ilam.
Its cultivation had been started in Ilam a decade back. The History Kiwi Pvt Ltd has been growing kiwi saplings and exporting them to India, Bhutan and Bangladesh, claimed History Kiwi Pvt Ltd’s proprietor Parbati Khatiwada. The nursery has already sold out over 10,000 kiwi saplings this fiscal year, said Khatiwada.