Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) has planned to buy rice directly from farmers to support its profit motivated business model. Purchasing rice, wheat, pulses and mustard seeds directly from farmers will benefit the corporation.
The corporation will buy 34,000 metric tonnes (MT) of rice from farmers this year, said general manager of the corporation Harikrishna Shah during the anniversary of the NFC. “We will buy the rice at the government prescribed rate," he said. The government has set the reference price of mota and masino rice at Rs 1,650 and Rs 1,725 per quintal, respectively.
"We will make a profit of Rs 47 million on rice," he said, adding that Nepal Food Corporation will further process the rice at its rice mills located in Rajapur of Bardiya district and Janakpur. "We will also purchase wheat, pulses and mustard seeds."
The corporation has planned to establish three new rice mills in Lahan, Itahari and Kailali. According to Shah, the direct purchase plan will be able to generate profits for the corporation. Earlier, NFC used to buy rice, wheat and edible oil from business people through a local and global tender.
The corporation has planned to introduce the Food Exchange Programme targeting hill districts. According to the plan, the corporation will give rice to people living in hill districts in exchange of millet, soyabean, buck wheat and uwa (hordeum himalayense). "We will sell the food items bought in the hills in urban areas. Millet, soyabean, buck wheat and uwa are in good demand there," he explained the plan.
Nepal Food Corporation has planned to supply about 15,000 MT rice to 23 food deficit hill districts. "The government has provided Rs 480 million to supply the rice," said Shah, adding that the corporation will also supply subsidised rice to the urban people. "We sold 16,700 quintals of subsidised rice in urban areas during Dashain, Tihar and Chhath," he said. Similarly, it sold 1,697 goats during Dashain.According to Nepal Food Corporation, it has a stock of 33,000 MT rice, including 8,000 MT in the SAARC food bank.