Varieties of yam in market to celebrate Maghe Sankranti

By Laxman Kafle

Kathmandu, Jan. 13: Kathmandu Valley residents are busy purchasing yam of their choice, one of the widely eaten items during the Maghe Sankranti festival, which falls on Tuesday.
Almost dozens of yam varieties are available in the retail market, with their prices ranging from Rs. 90 to Rs.300 per kg.
The yam varieties known as Hattipaile, Ban Tarul, Seto Ghar Tarul, Pani Tarul, root of Josephine, Patale Tarul and Rato Tarul among others are being sold in the market.
Sarita Adhikari, of Gatthaghar, Bhaktapur, said that she bought 3 kilograms of yam (Hattipaile) at Rs. 120 per kilo Saturday.
She, however, said that different varieties of yams are available in the market but huge differences in their prices and high profit margins imposed by different retailers forcing the consumers to pay more than they would in the wholesale market.
The price per kg of yam stood at Rs. 90 to 300 in the retail market, she said, adding that price of Bantarul and Root of Josephine was highly expensive compared to other verities of yams.
Hari Bahadur Thapa, of Suryabinayak, said that he came to the newly opened Vegetable Market of Gatthaghar to buy yams hearing that yams were selling at cheaper rates there.
He said that he bought five kilograms of yam for Rs. 60 a kilogram. The price of yams was really cheaper here compared to other retail market, he said.
Trader Ram Kumar Siwakoti, of Dolakha, is selling around 4-5 tons of yams daily for the last two days in Kathmandu Valley.
“I am selling yams at newly opened vegetable market of Gatthaghar, Bhaktapur, in a cheaper rate compared to other markets like Balkhu and Kalimati because proprietor of the market Shyam Sundar Basnet has arranged places for me free of cost to sell yams targeting the festival,” he said.
He is selling yam at Balkhu too.
He said that he is selling different varieties of yam ranging from Rs. 50 per kg to Rs. 150 per kg at Bhaktapur which is around Rs. 5-10 a kilogram cheaper than the other markets.
The price of yams supplied from Terai is cheaper than from other districts due to quality. He is selling yam in Kathmandu for the last seven years.
The price of per kilogram of yam ranges from a minimum Rs. 50 to the maximum of Rs. 200 at wholesale market, said Bhagawan Upreti, a wholesaler of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board (KFVMDB).
He said the Bantarul variety is being sold at Rs. 150 per kg which makes it the most expensive variety of yam currently available in the market. Another variety of yam, which is supplied from Sarlahi district, is being sold at Rs. 40 per kg. This is the cheapest variety in the wholesale market.
The root of Josephine, regarded as another variety of yam, is being sold at Rs. 200 per kg. This variety of yam is being imported from India. The price of yams has decreased by 20 per cent this year compared to last year due to excessive supply.
Daily around 150-200 tons of yams is being supplied from various districts, including Sarlahi, Dolakha, Palpa, Dhading, Ilam, Dhankuta, Kavre and various parts of Terai districts to the Kathmandu Valley daily for the last three days.
The prices of yam vary in the retail markets because the retailers charge prices as per their convenient and with a view to gain high profit. The price of yams has decreased by 10 to 15 per cent this year compared to last year due to improve supply, he said.
Another retailer of Baneshwor Hari Gopal Shrestha said he selling yam at Rs. 90 to 280 per kilo based on the quality.
Large number of consumers used to buy yam which is available at Rs. 100-150 per kg. The flow of consumers has started to increase in the shops for Friday.
“I am trading a kilo of root of Josephine at Rs. 280 per kilo and Bantarul at Rs. 180 per kilogram,” he said.
The demand of root of Josephine and Bantarul is very low compared to other verities due to high rate. 

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