KATHMANDU, Feb 16: The total annual output of the vegetables across the country has crossed 2.82 million tons worth Rs 45.14 billion -- around 3.8 percent of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), though hardly one-fifth of the vegetable farm holdings have been commercialized, shows the country’s first even vegetable production survey.
Despite the government efforts to commercialize agriculture sector, only 18 percent out of the total of 3.2 million vegetable holdings across the country are into commercial vegetable farming, states the Nepal Vegetable Crop Survey 2009-10 released on Tuesday.
The survey conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) between mid-November 2009 and mid-February 2010 found that Eastern Tarai has the highest rate of commercial vegetable farming with 34 percent of total farms in the region embracing commercialization.
“The outcomes of the survey shows that commercialization in vegetable farming has not gone as expected. We still need to do more on farm commercialization," said Uttam Narayan Malla, director general of CBS, launching the survey report.
Total input for vegetable farming has been estimated at Rs 9.06 billion. “However, it doesn´t include the cost of temporarily hired labors and the cost of rented land worth Rs 1.4 billion," the report adds.
The report says output of cauliflower, which holds major share in total output, has been estimated at Rs 6.5 billion of the total vegetable output. The value of output was measured at the price received by the farmers. Similarly, total output of tomato and cabbage has been estimated at Rs 5.7 billion and Rs 3.5 billion respectively.
Total yields of asparagus bean, cucumber and broadleaf mustard have been valued at Rs 2 billion each.
According to the report, organic fertilizer commands the largest input with Rs 2.3 billion or 26 percent of total farm output, followed by seed or seedling cost and land preparation cost that cover 22 percent and 16 percent respectively. Cost of input has been recorded at the highest for cauliflower followed by tomato and cabbage.
Among the vegetables, cauliflowers hold the highest input with Rs 1.6 billion or 18 percent of the total vegetable input. "In terms of value addition, the cauliflower contributes Rs 4.9 billion or 13.6 percent of the total contribution. The other vegetables with higher share of value addition are tomato and cabbage," the survey adds.
The survey revealed that only a few farmers have access to institutional loans for vegetable farming. Only 5 percent of the total farm holders received loan for vegetable farming and less than 15 percent of them took loan from Agricultural Development Bank.
Majority of the total of 3.24 million vegetable holdings or 232,295 hectares recorded across the country are in Tarai.
Of the total of 2.82 million tons vegetables produced during the period, only 61 percent or 1.71 million tons were sold to the market. The rest were consumed by the farmers themselves.
The survey also shows that vegetables are grown at least once a year in 905,810 hectares -- 38 percent of the total cultivated area in the country.