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Vegetables rot in storage due to banda.

DHARAN, May 6 -- With farmers not able to transport their produce to market, vegetables and fruits worth thousands of rupees have gone to rot resulting in huge financial losses.

Although the Maoist protestors enforcing the ongoing general strike have allowed vehicles carrying milk to pass, they have stopped vehicles carrying vegetables and fruits.

President of the Agro-Products Market Operation Committee (APMOC) Kaji Giri said that vegetables and fruits worth about Rs. 5 million are likely to perish as the shutdown continues.

"We have brought fresh produce from various parts of the eastern region and India worth Rs. 5 million," he said.

He added that trucks carrying vegetables and fruits had been allowed safe passage during People's Movement II in 2006. "This time, the agitators have prevented movement of vehicles carrying vegetables," he complained.

Giri complained that leaders who talk about leading the revolution for the wellbeing of the common people had been turning a deaf ear to their pleas. "It is unfair to bother agro-based citizens in the name of revolution," he added.

Assistant chief of the APMOC Netra Kafle said, "The stocks collected from Sunsari, Morang, Dhankuta and India five days ago have perished as they could not be delivered to potential consumers."

The APMOC had stocked mangoes worth more than Rs. 500,000 from India, 15 quintals of tomatoes and 40 quintals of cabbage worth Rs. 200,000 from Dhankuta, green chillies worth Rs. 100,000, about 30 quintals of Indian potatoes and other vegetables and fruits. "All the produce has rotted," Kafle said.

About 60 percent of the potatoes bought from India have already perished. Farmers and retailers of vegetables and fruits have been most affected by the banda.

"The condition of daily wage earners who make Rs. 150-250 per day is deteriorating," Kafle said.

Tika Ram Shrestha, a fruit seller, said, "My stock of mangoes imported from India worth Rs. 500,000 and apples worth Rs. 50,000 perished as I could not sell them."

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Publication:Kathmandu Post (Kathmandu, Nepal)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:May 6, 2010
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