Kathmandu: The country imported almond and cashew nut worth Rs 1 billion 177 million 954 thousand in the first four months of the current fiscal year, 2021/22, beginning mid-July.
Cashew nut of several varieties worth Rs 618 million 433 thousand and almond worth Rs 559 million 521 thousand was imported during this period, statistics on imports and exports for the period published by the Department of Customs stated.
Traders have been importing cashew nuts from six countries and almond from three countries, especially targeting the Dashain and Tihar festivals. Cashew nut is imported from India, China, Mozambique, Nigeria, Singapore and Viet Nam while almond is imported from India, America and Afghanistan.
The highest amount of cashew nut is imported from India. Four hundred seventeen thousand 484 kilogrammes cashew nut worth Rs 365 million 13 thousand was imported from India in the first four months of the current fiscal. Similarly, 183 thousand 554 kilogrammes cashew nut worth Rs 145 million366 thousand was imported from Viet Nam during this period. Eighty-nine thousand 900 kilogrammes cashew nut worth Rs 70 million 397 thousand was imported from Mozambique in the first four months of the current fiscal year while 45 thousand 452 kilogrammes cashew nut worth Rs 305 million 184 thousand was imported from Nigeria and 1134 kilogrammes worth Rs 904 thousand was imported from Singapore in the same period.
The largest amount of almond was imported from America in the first four months of the current fiscal year. Nine hundred nine thousand 560 kilogrammes almond worth Rs 557 million 629 thousand was imported from America, 1632 kilogrammes almond worth Rs 1 million 568 thousand was imported from India and 504 kilogrammes almond worth Rs 324 thousand was imported from Afghanistan during that period.
The government has collected revenue worth Rs 181 million 540 thousand from the import of cashew nut and Rs 171 million 654 thousand from the import of almond in the first four months of the current fiscal year.
Although the country imports nearly two billions worth of almond and cashew nut, the government bodies concerned are not taking concrete initiatives in cultivation of these dry fruits within the country.
The Department of Agriculture said there is immense possibility of almond cultivation in the country. However, its commercial cultivation has not been started yet.
Likewise, there is possibility of cashew nut cultivation in the tropical districts of the country such as Dhanusha, Siraha and Saptari.
The price of a kilogramme of cashew nut is in the range of Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 while that of almond is in the range Rs 2,800 to Rs 3,000 per kilogramme in the domestic market.