August 11: The Food Management and Trade Company Limited (FMTCL) is preparing to purchase 100,000 metric tons of food for the current fiscal year.
Informed sources told New Business Age that FMTCL is planning to buy 60,000 metric tons of paddy, 25,000 metric tons of rice, 5,000 metric tons of wheat, 250 metric tons of lentil, 20 metric tons of soybean, and 10,000 metric tons of sugar.
Likewise, the state-owned company is also preparing to buy 20,000 liters of edible oil and 3,000 goats for the upcoming Dashain festival.
Information officer of FMTCL, Sharmila Neupane Subedi, said that the company will be spending a total of Rs 4.97 billion for the purchase of aforementioned food items.
In the last fiscal year, FMTCL had set a target to purchase 30,000 metric tons of paddy but the actual purchase was only 22,000 metric tons. Similarly, it purchased 549 metric tons of wheat instead of 3,000 metric tons due to the crisis created by coronavirus.
According to Subedi, FMTCL is making such a large purchase for the first time to promote local products and to control price hike in the market.
Earlier, FMTCL used to make purchase from its centers in Bardiya, Kailali, Janakpur, Biratnagar and Birtamod. But this year, it is preparing to set up temporary centers for making the purchase.
There is a legal provision for FMTCL to keep a stock of 33,000 metric tons of food grains just in case for natural disasters like earthquake, floods and other calamities. However, the company’s stock is much less than the provision. According to FMTCL officials, it has a stock of 11,000 metric tons of rice and 549 metric tons of wheat at present.
The officials informed that the stock got reduced during the lockdown and they were not able to replace it due to the pandemic.