Market and value chain analysis of potato in Nepal

The District Agriculture Cooperative Federation (DACF) in Makawanpur was established in 2010 and represents 17,000 household members in Nepal via a number of member cooperatives.

Potato is one of the main crops in this vegetable production area and a major part is produced for the market. The cooperatives do not have their own collection center and cooperative marketing shop. Besides, there are no storage facilities at the farm or at the community level and no collective marketing system is in place. Therefore, members are forced to sell individually through middlemen who determine the agreements, among which the potato market price. The members are unaware of market prices and demand of customers. Currently, they are not able to have a viable collective marketing strategy, which is what is needed to face these challenges. The cooperatives could play an important lead role in improving the position of the potato farmer members. Via the ESFIM project, a profound value chain analysis on the potato production and marketing has been conducted. Outcomes are an evidence-based understanding of the whole chain and flow of products including power issues and relevant input for the strategy of the cooperatives and the supporting role of DACF.

Results and conclusions

  • The academic background of farmer is not good, so relevant trainings and programs must be conducted.
  • The instable market, price fluctuations, middle man’s role has made adverse impact on farmer’s return. The government policy is not applicable for the marketing.
  • The barrier from fields to market and involvement of complex value chain were determined.
  • A simple value chain involving cooperative for collection and supply must be initiated.
  • The government policy on farmer’s price, availability of seed/ manure need to be address out and make suitable change.

Proud of

The entire team of ESFIM research unit specially the WUR researcher for all this happenings for her passion and trust towards us. After competing this research paper different stakeholder from District were there to support in various fields i.e; cold storage, potato grading machine, collection centre ,providing JTA service. From the side of Bjrabarahi they were able to sale 150 tons of potato on their own brand name , as well as the bargaining power with the traders is enhanced in the case of Namtar farmer as a good sign of outcome of this research.

Lessons learnt

During the research period it is very tough to enter into the potato market for asking detailed questions about potato business. Conflict arise as the entered into the market research as the prevailed market actors were not very willing to share the bitter reality of potato margins and black marketing. It was a difficult situation.