Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Niche products post dismal export performances

Exports of agro-based products like large cardamom, ginger, lentils, tea, noodles, medicinal and essential oils that are featured in Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) 2010 showed a mixed performance forcing the government to seriously have a relook at its export promotion strategies.
Exports of cardamom, ginger and tea posted growth, whereas herbs, noodles and pulses recorded a plunge in exports in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year.
The export of cardamom — one of the key exports of the country — has more than doubled as compared to the same period two years back. "The country had exported cardamom worth Rs 1.23 billion in the 10 months of fiscal year 2009-10, whereas it has exported cardamom worth Rs 2.70 billion in the current fiscal year till mid-May, the data of the central bank revealed.
In the same period of last fiscal year, the country had exported cardamom worth Rs 1.65 billion.
Similarly, ginger has also recorded exports worth Rs 323.2 million till mid-May, whereas in the same period of last fiscal year it recorded exports of Rs 199.4 million. But ginger had posted exports worth Rs 302.6 million in the same period of fiscal year 2009-10. Last fiscal year was not encouraging for both ginger and dry ginger, as exports witnessed a whopping drop from a fiscal year ago.
"The country exported dry ginger worth Rs 10.4 million till mid-May this year as compared to exports worth Rs 2.9 million in the same period of last fiscal year," it revealed, adding that exports stood at Rs 67.3 million in the same period of 2009-10.
One of the niche products of the country, tea, has also recorded a growth which is more than double in the last two years. "The country exported tea worth Rs 194.4 million till mid-May as compared to exports worth Rs 100.2 million in the same period last fiscal year, whereas a fiscal year ago, in the same period of 2009-10, the country had exported only Rs 71.6 million worth of tea," the data added.
However, pulses recorded a plunge in exports. The country has exported pulses worth Rs 2 billion till mid-May as compared to exports of Rs 3.19 billion in the same period of last fiscal year, the central bank data revealed, adding that the export of pulses in the same period of 2009-10 was worth Rs 3.09 billion.
Similarly, exports of herbs also dropped to Rs 206.6 million till mid-May from Rs 274.9 million in the same period of last fiscal year. But exports in the first 10 months of fiscal year 2009-10 stood at Rs 379 million, the data revealed. Exports of noodles has also dropped to Rs 410.8 million till mid-May against Rs 435.8 million in the same period last fiscal year and Rs 490.7 million in the same period a fiscal year ago, according to the data.
"The slow implementation has hit the exports growth of the NTIS products," according to trade researcher Chandan Sapkota.
On one hand these products are low-value products and on the other the government failed to do enough homework, he said, adding that the support for the promotion of these products has also been inadequate.


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