HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Pomegranate farmers have launched a campaign to make the country self-reliant in the fruit. “We are launching the campaign to generate employment in the country," they said, adding that currently, the country has been importing Pomegranate from India.
They will succeed in their mission, if the government and non-governmental organisations join hands with them, they said, claiming that it will not only stop youth migration for few thousands but also substitute imports.
"The country has a great potential of Pomegranate production but it is yet unexplored," said director general of Agriculture Directorate Chukram Gurung. "We started Pomegranate production in 1960s but it could neither be expanded nor commercialised in the last half decade," he said, adding that about 55 districts have suitable climate for Pomegranate. The farmers can get fruits for four decade from a plant, so it can be a profitable business for long, Achrya said. "We have to explore more opportunities in the business."
Pomegranate farmers have also formed Nepal Pomegranate Association led by Hiralal Acharya, who is popular as 'Anaar Baje' for his long dedication to the fruit. The association has 11 executive members to support the campaign. Pomegranate farmers Narayan Prasad Paudel, Pradeep Ghimire, Shmabhu Rai and Krishna Prasad Khatiwada have been elected in the posts of vice president, general secretary, secretary and treasurer in the association respectively. Likewise, Ramji Prasad Dulal, Krishna Bahadur Bista, Prem Bahadur Hamal, Shiva Bhandari and Radha Basnet have been elected as the members from the first general assembly held on Saturday and Sunday.