Due to the soaring prices of tomatoes in India, many residents along the India-Nepal border in Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand, are crossing over to Nepal to buy tomatoes, The Times of India reported. Tomatoes in India are currently selling at ₹120 to ₹130 per kg, while in Nepal, they cost around NPR 100 to 110 (₹62 to ₹69 in India).
Beneficial for Nepal’s Farmers
Nepal’s farmers, who have been incentivised by their government to diversify their crops and grow vegetables instead of grains, are benefiting from the high tomato prices in India. The Nepal government has formed farmer groups, provided them with seeds, fertilisers, and polyhouses, and given them several agricultural subsidies.
Cross-border trade is common in Pithoragarh and Champawat districts of Uttarakhand, which are close to the Nepal border. People from both sides cross bridges to go to markets in the other country. Apart from residents, traders have also started buying tomatoes from Nepal. Some local traders recently bought tomatoes in bulk at a wholesale rate of ₹40 per kg.
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Exchange Rate Factor
The exchange rate also plays a key role in Indians rushing to Nepal to buy tomatoes. Nepali traders prefer dealing in Indian rupees as it means more Nepali rupees for them. Pithoragarh DM Reena Joshi said, “People of both sides usually cross the border and buy items of daily need in limited quantities. Security agencies check these purchases.”
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