Since the growing situation of COVID-19 cases, everyone in Nepal was in the thought of how long the lockdown will continue and how long are the food stocks continue? Get yourself on ease because the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies announced that Nepal has enough stock of food that could feed the population for five months approx. Well, that is a relief, to this falling economy and sort of things, we will be able to go on 5 more months. Hopefully, the pandemic situation will be brought to normal.
The ministry also disclosed data held by state-owned Food Management and Trade Company and Salt Trading Company and the private sector. It informs Foods stock from domestic production and continuous imports include 139,617 tonnes of rice, 134,435 tonnes of salt, 35,266 tonnes of sugar, and 16,097 tonnes of lentils and legumes. Edible oil & slat trading – 56,887 tonnes and Private firms- 83,967 tonnes. Also, Salt Trading has 109,955 tonnes of lentils stored in its warehouses.
Joint Secretary Prakash Dahal further voices that he is not worried about the food stock, but how these stock will be delivered to people due to the lockdown scenario. The government has also taken the measure to deliver the food stock to the people. Like they have organized vans to deliver food and vegetables through corporations, and coordinating to deliver vegetables from Kalimati and Balkhu to residential areas.
Food Management and Trade Company and Salt Trading gave their part on relief as well, they issued 7,198 tonnes of food. They also distributed 6,117 tonnes of rice at a 10 percent discount over the municipalities in different districts.
As per the information through ministry, let’s give you the insights of the imports on a single day- 25th may:
· 725 tonnes of food items,
· 2,506 tonnes of lentils,
· 229 tonnes of vegetables,
· 361 tonnes of fruits,
· 700 tonnes of dairy products,
· Rs26 million worth of pharmaceutical raw materials and
· Rs22 million worth of medicines
· 11 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas
Yes, the imports were in one single say. That is huge. Likewise, 63 days of the lockdown- 207,233 tonnes of food items, 59,334 tonnes of lentils, 77,493 tonnes of vegetables, 29,753 tonnes of fruits, 12,133 tonnes of dairy products, pharmaceutical raw materials valued at Rs 801 million and medicines valued at Rs 3 billion- arrived in the country.
Additionally, let’s have a look at how much percentage raised on the daily necessity products:
· Food imports increased by 8.6 percent
· lentils and legumes by 16 percent,
· vegetables by 7 percent
· Fruits by 42 percent.
· Dairy products rose 30-fold.
· Imports of medicines increased by 33 percent.
Moreover, The Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection and its offices’ checking the bazaars in different districts by coordinating with the District Administration Office. This is done because of the rise in Market prices. Hence, the department has also taken action against many traders who are gauging the price in the market.