A huge import from India is a threat for Nepal-It has been reported by the local authorities that over 80 percent of rice mills have been shut down in eastern parts of Nepal because they are unable to compete with the free flowing imported rice from India.
There are nearly 120 rice mills in Ekantipur, which has been shut down due to this reason. It is told that its production is equal to U.P which is considered as the biggest rice producing state of India. In India the production costs of rice are subsidized and in Nepal they are much higher.
Millers of Nepal asserted that rice mills in Nepal contributed around Rs. 250 million (about $2.6 million) as annual taxes and near about 25,000 people have got direct employment.
Rice imports from India have negatively affected the farmers, stakeholders and workers, since year 2011. India has lifted a ban on rice exports and millers want Nepal govt. support in domestic rice production.
According to Nepal’s (TEPC), the country imported near about 504,500 tons of rice grain in financial year 2012-13. It was near about 18% from around 428,125 tons in the previous fiscal year. It is said that 98 percent rice grain was imported from India in year 2012-2013. Paddy production declined in Nepal but the Govt. is saying it is due to adverse affect of weather, but farmers and stake holders are seeking support from Govt. and want Govt. intervention into it.