June 6, 2023, Tuesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Nepal imports dryfruits worth more than Rs. 7 billion

The Nepal Weekly
October 24, 2022

Tihar, the festival of lights and colours, has already arrived in our doorsteps. The festival celebrated by almost all Nepalese residing across the country and abroad is the major occasion for dry fruits business in the country.

The demand for dry fruits goes high specially during Tihar. The major markets Ason, Indrachowk, Makhan, Maru and New Road is filled with the crowds of consumers to buy dry fruits. These core areas have been the major market hub for the dry fruits as many consumers gather there to buy goods here. They find the areas convenient as other necessary stuffs for Tihar is easily available and consider that dry fruits available in these markets at a cheaper rate than in other markets. 

The price of dry fruits has considerably increased this year. According to Nepal Retail Trade Association, the price of Cashew has increased by Rs. 200 which was Rs. 1500-1600 per kg last year. Similarly, raisins cost Rs. 500-600 which was Rs. 250-400 last year. Compared to 2021, the price of Pistachio, Dates, Almonds, Walnuts, Dried coconut has risen by Rs. 700, Rs. 100, Rs. 200, Rs. 100, and Rs. 200 with the marked price of Rs. 2,400, Rs. 400-500, Rs. 1350, Rs. 600 and Rs. 800 respectively. 

Despite the increase in the price, the import of dry fruits has increased this year compared to past few years. According to the Department of Customs, Nepal imported dry fruits worth Rs. 7.53 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021/22. Similarly, dry fruits worth Rs. 4.81 billion were imported in FY 2020/21 and Rs. 5.84 billion in 2019/2020. Nepal imported dry fruits of Rs. 1.1 billion in Shrawan (mid-July to mid-August) and Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September). The dry fruit business was affected by Covid-19 in the past few years. 

The consumption of dry fruits is high during Tihar compared to other times. Many people buy the goods to offer to their brothers during Bhai Tika. Similarly, the hotels, restaurants, corporate offices also buy dry fruits and send them to their clients wishing for Happy Tihar. 

Reeta Basnet ,a customer looking for dry fruits in Ason, said that she bought dry fruits of Rs. 5,000 for Deepawali. “I offer Bhai Tika to my three brothers. I gift them dry fruits and sweets,” she said adding in exchange thre gave me sari and kurta. 

Similarly, Lokesh Thapa bought dry fruits of Rs. 500. He said that he received Bhai Tika from her two sisters and bought two packets of Bhai tika Masala to offer them as gifts. 

For Tihar, some people prefer to buy open dry fruits and prepare Bhai Masala at home while some people like to buy packaged Bhai Masala. 

Raju Rajkarnikar is the third generation running a dry fruit shop in Tyaudha. He i said that most of the costumers prefer open dry fruits to packaged Masala. His daily earning ranged between Rs. 20,000–Rs. 30,000 during Tihar where he used to earn Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 9,000 per day during normal time. 

Similarly, Surya Lal Shrestha, a dry fruit shopkeeper, said that he had three times more sales during Tihar. Stating that the daily income used to be around Rs. 2,500 before Tihar, he said that he earns more than Rs. 15,000 during the festival.