Food prices are likely to drop in the coming days, due to satisfactory winter harvest, according to a report.
"Prices of commodities such as wheat and barley which are in the process of harvesting will likely start declining," according to a joint report published by UN World Food Programme (WFP), Ministry of Agriculture Development, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) and Consumer Interest Protection Forum.
"However, prices of lean season staple foods such as rice are likely to remain high until the next harvest," the report said.
"The outlook of winter crops, which are in the process of harvesting, is so far normal, with anticipation of a marginal increase as compared to last year which will, favourably, affect food availability and prices," it added.
In the markets monitored by the ministry and WFP, retail prices of most commodities showed a marginal increase over the past one month.
The national average price of coarse rice and wheat flour increased by 1.9 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively. The price of most commodities as compared to the previous month and the same period last year indicated an upward trend.
Increasing food prices have also put pressure on overall inflation that continued to remain at double digit. The food and beverage price index measured by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) stayed at 11.3 per cent in mid-March that had increased by 4.2 per cent a year ago.
The year-on-year inflation, as measured by the consumer price index increased by 10.2 per cent in the review period compared to seven per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Under the items of the food and beverage group, the price index of meat and fish sub-group increased by a higher rate of 17.1 per cent during the review month as compared to an increase of 5.8 per cent in the corresponding month of the previous year.
Similarly, during the review period, price indices of cereal grains and legume varieties increased by 12.9 per cent and 12.6 per cent, respectively. Such indices had decreased by 2.4 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively, in the corresponding month of the previous year.