By Our Correspondent Fidim, Dec. 5: The price of dried cardamom has increased by 27 per cent this year as compared to last year. Farmers are currently selling cardamom for Rs. 44,000 per man, up from Rs. 32,000 last year. The price of cardamom, which was Rs. 22,000 per 40 kgs three years ago, has started rising gradually.
However, it had increased to Rs. 51,000 for 40 kgs in October, 2021. In 1963, cardamom that sold at Rs. 80 per man had reached over Rs. 100,000 a few years ago. The price of cardamom has been increasing since 2000 and it reached over Rs. 100,000 per man. As a result, cardamom cultivation expanded and production began to increase.
Farmers were dissatisfied when the price tumbled and plateaued at Rs. 22,000 per man for a long time. However, farmers have become excited about the recent rise in cardamom price. In addition, most of the farmers had started storing cardamom at home due to lack of good price last year.
According to Narendra Adhikari, central vice-president of the Federation of Large Cardamom Entrepreneurs of Nepal, the price has increased due to shortage of cardamom in the market. The production of cardamom has decreased in Nepal and Sikkim of India which contributed to increase in its price, he said.
With the availability of communication and transportation facilities in almost all the rural areas, it has become easy to sell cardamom to the farmers. After understanding the market price, the farmers have started supplying it to the traders who purchase it at a good price, he said. In this situation, cardamom has started reaching the big traders directly and not through middlemen.
Farmers of Panchthar used to sell cardamom to the traders of Fidim in the past but now they are selling it directly at Birtamod. This has created a situation where farmers can sell cardamom at the price they demand.
In the past, farmers had to sell cardamom at the price fixed by the traders. It is seen that the farmers are getting good return from cardamom even when the price is being fixed from the seller and not from the buyer. According to Ganesh Pokharel, president of the National Farmers Group Federation, Panchthar, the price of cardamom is improving as farmers are becoming more aware about the price of cardamom.
The annual income from cardamom is equivalent to Rs. 2 billion in Panchthar. About 2,000 hectares of land is cultivated here and up to 800 tonnes of cardamom is grown, he said. The cardamom is cultivated in 14,700 hectares in 40 districts of mid-hills of Nepal. The living standard of cardamom farmers is also improving. The cardamom cultivation is expanding from Ilam, Panchthar and Taplejung in the east to Achham, Doti and Baitadi in the west.