There was a time when rice was Nepal’s major export item
Injina Panthi / April 18, 2018
Over the past few years, media reports have been stating that Nepal’s rice import has been increasing. But there was a time when Nepal used to export rice.
Nepal had formally started exporting rice in 1974 AD. The government had established seven companies specifically for exporting rice. These companies were: Mechi Dhanchamal Niryat Company Limited, Koshi Anchal Dhanchamal Niryat Company Limited, Sagarmatha Dhanchamal Niryat Company, Janakpur Anchal Dhanchamal Niryat Company, Narayani Anchal Dhanchamal Niryat Company Limited, Lumbini Anchal Dhanchamal Niryat Company Limited, and Sudoor Paschimanchal Dhanchamal Niryat Company limited. Later, in 1975 August, yet another company, Seti Mahakali Dhanchamal Niryat Company, was set up.
In these companies, the government and cooperatives had 51 percent stake while the remaining 49 percent stake was held by businessmen, mill owners and farmers.
Several news reports and articles published in Gorkhapatra between 1974 and 1975 mentioned that the agriculture sector’s share in the total national export was 65 percent with rice being the major export commodity. Since rice dominated the export basket, the government set up these companies to facilitate export.
Rice comprised 40 percent of Nepal’s total exports (Nepal’s Rice Exports, Ramesh Munkarmi, Gorkhapatra Daily, December 15, 1974). In the article, the writer has recommended that Nepal needs to explore market for its rice in order to balance its imports and exports.
On August 23, 1975, a year after their establishment, the rice import-export companies’ progress report was as follows. These companies exported rice mainly to India.
|Total purchase (metric ton)||Export target (metric ton)||Export agreement (metric ton)||Total export (metric ton)|
|Koshi Dhanchamal Company||18,750||27,214||15,000||20,277||17,300|
|Mechi Dhanchamal Company||25,000||29,865||0||19,531||9,000|
|Sagarmatha Dhanchamal Company)||15,000||23,600||12,000||8,500||5,000|
|Janakpur Dhanchamal Company||15,000||10,271||12,000||4,720||3,500|
|Narayani Dhanchamal Company||18,750||13,500||15,000||100,70||8,000|
|Lumbini Dhanchamal Company||17,500||14,504||14,000||9,147||7,296|
|Sudoor Pashimanchal Dhanchamal Company||15,000||6,861||12,000||0||5,194|
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- There was a time when rice was Nepal’s major export item