VEGETABLE SEED PRODUCTION AND MARKETING IN KAVREPALACHOWK DISTRICT, NEPAL: AN ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
Nabina Neupane, Nischal Acharya, Arun GC
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Vegetable seeds, in Nepal’s context, are regarded as a high-value and low-volume commodity that, despite having a great scope for lucrative production, still proves to be elusive for farmers. In this regard, a study was carried out in Kavrepalanchowk district of Nepal to assess the economics of vegetable seed production and determine the economic viability of seed production enterprises in increasing farm income and improving socio-economic status. Face-to-face interviews using a semi-structured survey questionnaire were used to collect the primary data. For the interview, a sampling frame of all seed producers in the district was prepared, out of which sixty seed producers were selected using a simple random sampling technique. Further, ten traders were also surveyed with a semi-structured questionnaire. The highest benefit-cost ratio was recorded in tomato (3.36), followed by kidney bean (1.55) and cress (1.34). Only one marketing channel was reported at the study site, with farmers selling their produce to a cooperative, which eventually sells the seeds to a seed company. According to the study, kidney bean seed producers had the highest share of consumer rupees (72%), followed by tomato seed producers (50%) and cress seed producers (16.67%). Limited irrigation facilities, the incidence of disease and pests, and limited market information have been reported as the major hindrances in the study area. Thus, the findings show the potential of vegetable seed production to be a financially lucrative enterprise. The enhancement of market linkage and better collaboration between various value chain actors and concerned stakeholders can help overcome existing problems and create a better foundation to improve the seed production enterprise.