Nepal's large cardamom industry, a significant contributor to the country's agricultural economy, is expected to face a sharp decrease in output this year. The Federation of Large Cardamom Entrepreneurs predicts a 40% drop in production, primarily due to drought and pest infection. This decline could have far-reaching implications for the country's economy, farmers, and export markets.
The Impact of Drought and Pest Infection
The anticipated decline in large cardamom production is primarily attributed to unfavorable weather conditions and pest infections. Drought has severely affected the growth of the cardamom plants, while pests have damaged the existing crops. The combination of these factors has created a challenging environment for large cardamom cultivation, leading to the predicted decrease in output.
The Economic Consequences
The large cardamom industry plays a crucial role in Nepal's economy. With an annual production of approximately 8,000 tonnes, the industry provides a significant source of income for farmers in 53 districts, with Taplejung being the highest producer. The predicted decline in production could, therefore, have severe economic implications.
The decrease in supply could lead to an increase in the price of large cardamom, which is currently being traded at Rs925 per kg in the market in Birtamod, Jhapa. While this could benefit farmers in the short term, it could also lead to a decrease in demand from international buyers, affecting the country's export revenues.
The Need for Government Intervention
The current situation highlights the need for government intervention in the large cardamom industry. Farmers have called for the government to provide assistance in controlling pests and providing irrigation facilities. There is also a need for education on the use of organic pesticides, which are made using mugwort (bitter leaf) and cow manure, to ensure sustainable farming practices.
- Why is large cardamom production expected to decline in Nepal?The Federation of Large Cardamom Entrepreneurs predicts a 40% drop in production due to drought and pest infection.
- What are the potential economic consequences of the predicted decline in large cardamom production?The decrease in supply could lead to an increase in the price of large cardamom, potentially affecting demand from international buyers and impacting the country's export revenues.
- What measures are being called for to address the predicted decline in large cardamom production?Farmers have called for government intervention in controlling pests and providing irrigation facilities. There is also a need for education on the use of organic pesticides to ensure sustainable farming practices.