KATHMANDU, Dec 22: Per capita vegetable consumption of Nepalis has almost doubled to 105 kg over the past two decades, thanks to growing commercialization of agriculture sector along with increasing production area.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives (MoAC), vegetable production across the country increased to three million tons during fiscal year 2009/10 from 1.12 million tons recorded during 1991/92.
Total worth of vegetables (excluding potatoes) produced during 2009/10 was well over Rs 105 billion -- 8.8 percent of the country´s gross domestic production (GDP) which stood at Rs 1.182 trillion in 2009/10.
“Per capita vegetable consumption has sharply gone up to 105 kg from 60 kg over the past two decades due to massive commercialization of agriculture and rise in production area. Rising purchasing power of people is the other reason behind rise in consumption,” said Dr Hari Dahal, spokesperson of the MoAC.
Vegetable production area increased to 232,597 hectares in 2009/10, up from 140,500 hectares recorded in 1991/92.
Dahal said rise in vegetable production every year was due to increasing number of farmers shifting to vegetable farming due to better return prospects. “Volume of vegetables coming to markets from domestic farms has also increased over the years due to increasing market accessibility,” Dahal added.
Vegetable productions in Tarai, mid-hills and high hills in 2009/10 have been recorded at 55 percent, 40 percent and 5 percent of the total vegetable production respectively.
According to MoAC, the contribution of horticulture sector in Agriculture Gross Domestic Production increased to 21.42 percent during the year. Vegetables, potatoes, and fruits and spices contributed 9.71 percent, 4.67 percent and 7.04 percent respectively, according to MoAC figures.
Total horticulture production, which includes fruits, vegetables, spices and flowers, was worth Rs 20.44 billion during the year, up from Rs 8.39 billion recorded in 1991/92.