The price of cardamom has increased by threefold this season, bringing happiness to the farmers. Cardamom is now being sold at the highest price in the past four years. Trader Jeevan Pandey said that the price of cardamom has increased by almost three times more than last year.
The price was Rs 28,000 last year, but the good quality of cardamom is now being sold at Rs 85,000 per quintal. According to Pandey, the price of cardamom has increased this year because there is not enough cardamom as per its demand in the international market. Biren Shereng of Suryodaya municipality-1 has cultivated cardamom in an area of about 100 ropani of land.
He said 27 to 30 metric tons of cardamom are produced annually, giving savings of at least one million rupees. The farmers of Ilam have started to increase their income after the improvement of cardamom with the use of modern farming systems. This year, 1,325 metric tons of cardamom have been produced in the district. This is 7.96 percent more than the previous year.
According to the Agriculture Knowledge Centre in Ilam, cardamom has been produced with plantations on 1,753 hectares of land. According to Runa Khadka, an employee of the center, only 1,215.26 metric tons of cardamom were produced last year when it was cultivated on 1,755 hectares. Though cardamom plantations have decreased, production and productivity have increased this year. He said that the productivity per hectare was 0.69 per hectare last year and increased to 0.75 per hectare in the current year.
In Ilam, cardamom is grown at all 10 local levels, including six rural municipalities and four municipalities. However, it is more extensive in Maijogmai and Sandakpur rural municipalities. Cardamom is grown at an altitude of 700 to 2100 meters above sea level.