Farmers’ incomes soar after construction of cold stores

Orange farmer Chandra Kant Poudel used to sell his fruits as fast as he picked them from the trees lest they spoil, as there was nowhere to store them.

The orange grower in Panini Rural Municipality, Pokharathok is now happy that a cold store has been built in front of his house. Now Poudel no longer has to sell his harvest for all he can get. He can put his harvest of oranges in the cold store and wait to sell them when the prices go up.

Fruit and vegetable prices typically double or triple out of season. Oranges are normally harvested in December. It’s now February and Poudel has started selling some of its products for which it gets double pricing.

“Oranges are normally available at Rs60 per kg during the harvest season. But when they hit the market a few months later, prices had doubled to Rs 120 per kg,” Poudel said.

Most farmers have started selling their oranges.

The cold store was built by the Rural Municipality with an investment of Rs 20 million and was handed over to the Shiva Shakti Farmers’ Group, a group of orange farmers.

According to the farmers’ group, about 3,000 tonnes of oranges were sold. “The taste of oranges remains the same as before. We are delighted to see our income doubling,” Poudel said.

Like Poudel, nearly two dozen farmers from Panini, Simle, Khidim and Pokharathok have stored their oranges at the facility. There are 250 orange growers in the Rural Municipality of Panini.

Oranges, lemons and sweet oranges are kept in the cold room. Lemon was previously sold for Rs60 per kg. Poudel said they are now being sold at 140 rupees per kg.

“We were selling oranges to customers by picking them from the trees and at prices offered by buyers,” Poudel said. “This year, for the first time, we sold the fruits keeping them in the cold room,” he said.

Many young people became interested in farming after farmers doubled their income by sending off-season agricultural produce to big markets like Butwal and Tansen.

“The cold store has doubled the income of the farmers,” said Revati Prasad Poudel, chairman of the group. “I plan to keep some of my agricultural produce in storage to sell during the off season,” he said.

Potatoes, vegetables and foodstuffs as well as oranges and citrus fruits command high prices out of season.

Most farmers in the Rural Municipality have adopted an intercropping system which involves growing two or more crops simultaneously in one field.

The farmers say they grow potato, cauliflower, radish, beans including sweet potato, yam, ginger, turmeric and spices in the orange grove.

Achyut Gautam, chairman of Panini Rural Municipality, said oranges worth more than Rs 70 million had been produced at Panini this year. “Selling seasonal fruits, vegetables, spices and grains, including out-of-season oranges by keeping them in cold stores directly benefits farmers as they are sold at a high price,” he said. declared.

“We also came up with agricultural programs to increase production,” Gautam said.

“The region produces enough potatoes which will now be kept in cold storage and sold out of season,” he said.

By producing vegetables and foodstuffs, including oranges, citrus fruits and potatoes, farmers no longer have to worry about selling them. “The harvest can be kept in the cold room and sold at any time at a high price,” said Laxmi Gautam, vice president of the Rural Municipality of Panini.

The Rural Municipality of Malarani has constructed cold stores at four locations to store vegetables and food products produced in the village.

Two cold stores with a capacity of 100 tons each have been installed at Bagi of district 5 and Dakharka of district 2, and two with a capacity of 20 tons each have been built at Kunakharka of district 3 and Ratanmare of district 6.

These four cold stores were constructed with an investment of 10.29 million rupees.

Malarani Rural Municipality Information Officer Netra Prasad Khanal said the cold store was built so that food and vegetables can be produced by linking farmers and cooperatives, keeping them in a cold storage and selling them out of season.

Bal Krishna Acharya, chairman of Malarani Rural Municipality, said the cold store was built with the aim of creating self-employment in the village by engaging unemployed youths in agricultural ventures.

“Potatoes produced in season in the village are sold at low prices in the market. Their value increases by selling them out of season after storing them in cold rooms,” he said.

“The cold store will provide additional support to young unemployed people to become self-employed by engaging them in agriculture,” he said.

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