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Paddy imports on rise in Nepal


KATHMANDU, Feb 28 (Xinhua): Due to declining paddy production in Nepal, paddy imports have been on the rise, an official from the Nepal Pulse, Rice and Oil Industry Association (NPROIA) said here today.
Paddy worth 100 million Nepali rupees (1.42 million US dollars) was imported into Nepal during the first seven months of the current fiscal year (from July 15, 2005 to July 15, 2006), NPROIA's Vice President Gangabisin Rathi told reporters.
"As paddy production declined due to erratic monsoon this year, we had to import a huge quantity of paddy in order to meet local demand," said Rathi.
He said paddy production decreased by 25 per cent just in the eastern region alone. With rising import, the price has also gone up. "The price of rice has increased by 100 Nepali rupees (1.42 U. S. dollars) per sack over a month," said Rathi.
Hoarding of paddy by farmers in hopes of getting a better price in future also caused an increase in imports, he said.
Nepal experienced a record import of paddy this year. "We used to import paddy in the past as well. But, we did not import on this scale earlier," Rathi said.