In Nepalgunj, more than 10 crores worth of bananas have been imported from India in just two months. According to the information officer at the Nepalgunj Customs Office, Dilliprasad Sharma, during the current fiscal year 2080/81, in the months of Saun and Bhadra alone, Nepalgunj imported bananas worth 10 crores, 31 lakhs, and 25 thousand.
Due to the festival season, there has been an increase in banana imports in just two months. Dilliprasad Sharma, the information officer at the Nepalgunj Customs Office, stated that during this period, 2,400 metric tons of bananas were imported. These bananas are supposed to reach various markets in the country. Apart from the local market, the demand for bananas is expected to increase in Bardia, Surkhet, Dang, and up to Narayangadh in Chitwan.
The production of fruits and flowers in this region, including Nepalgunj, is minimal. Despite the enthusiasm of farmers for banana production, they are unable to compete due to the cheap price of bananas imported from India. To encourage banana production, the Nepalgunj Agricultural Knowledge Center has been providing agricultural knowledge that farmers have not been able to utilize.
Nepalgunj also imports other fruits and flowers. Farmers who produce domestic bananas demand an immediate ban on the import of bananas from India. Devendra Adhikari, a farmer engaged in banana cultivation, stated that if bananas are imported from India and not sold and distributed in the market, farmers face the risk of taking out loans.
According to him, there is an increasing possibility of unemployed farmers and dependent families in Banke, Bardia, Kailali, and Kanchanpur seeking foreign employment. In Banke and Bardia districts, four thousand farmers are engaged in commercial banana cultivation on two thousand five hundred hectares of land.