October 27: With only a week left for the festival of Tihar to start, the business of dry fruits has skyrocketed. According to traders, the trade of dry fruits such as cashew nuts, almonds, pistachio, coconut, walnut and dates has increased by about 10 percent this year as compared to the previous year.
Amul Kaji Tuladhar, general secretary of Nepal Retailers Association, said that the trade of dry fruits could not take place significantly last year due to the threat of Covid-19 pandemic. However, this year the trade has increased due to the decline in cases of Covid-19.
According to the traders, dry fruits worth Rs 600 million are traded in Nepal during Tihar alone.
This time, the price of dry fruits has also increased. According to the association, the price of dates has increased from Rs 115 to Rs 250 per kg. The price of raisins has gone up by Rs 50 per kg from Rs 400 to Rs 450.
Likewise, the price of cashew has gone up by Rs 100 per kg from Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,600 as compared to the previous year. Similarly, the price of figs has also increased by Rs 50 to Rs 1,550. The price of betel nut has gone up by Rs 400 per kg as the government had banned its import earlier.
Nevertheless, the price of some products is found to have decreased. The biggest drop in prices is seen in cardamom. The price of cardamom has decreased by Rs 2,000 per kg from Rs 5,000 to Rs 3,000 per kg. The price of walnut has also decreased by Rs 50 per kg from Rs 600 to Rs 550 per kg.
As the festival approaches, the number of consumers buying such items in the market is also increasing. Currently, the main business centers of Kathmandu like Asan, Indrachowk, New Road, Khichapokhari and other places are crowded with customers who are busy shopping for the festival.