Nepal maintains sixth place in world lentil output: FAO

KATHMANDU, SEP 01 – Nepal has retained its position as the world’s sixth largest producers of lentil s in 2012 after it logged 0.64 percent rise in production to 208,201 tonnes, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

The FAO statistics show that Nepal’s production accounted for 4.57 percent of the world’s lentil s in 2012. In terms of production, Nepal is behind Canada, India, Australia, Turkey and the US.

The world lentil s output grew by 3.32 percent to 4.55 million tonnes in 2012. Meanwhile, the area under lentil cultivation rose to 207,630 hectares last year from 207,591 hectares in 2011. It was cultivated in 187,437 hectares of land in 2010.

Despite the increase in production, Nepal’s lentil export has fallen significantly and its price has gone up. The Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC) statistics show that lentil export in the first 11 months (mid-July to mid-June) of 2012-13 dropped by 24.55 percent to 21,209 tonnes year on year.  

According to the TEPC statistics, the lentil price on an average rose to 121 per kg in 2012-13, against Rs 77 per kg in 2011-12. Nepal exported lentil s worth Rs 2.57 billion in the first eleven months of the last fiscal year as compared to 33,151 tonnes worth Rs 2.67 billion it had exported in 2011-12.

In 2011-12, Bangladesh alone procured 29,579 tonnes of lentil s worth Rs 2.45 billion while exports to India stood at Rs 193 million. Bangladesh is the largest buyer of Nepali lentil s followed by India, Singapore, the UAE, and Bahrain.

In 2008-09, Nepal made a record high lentil export of 56,767 tonnes worth Rs 5.66 billion. Lentils is among Nepal’s top 10 export commodities.

Lentil traders and importers said spiralling price in the international market coupled with supply crunch as a major reason behind the rise in price of Nepali lentil s. They warned of further rise in the lentil price because of the growing market demand.

“Nepali traders are unable to fulfill lentil demand in Bangladesh,” said Ajay Parajuli, executive secretary at the Association of Nepalese Rice, Oil and Pulses Industry. “Although 80 percent of the total lentil s produced in Nepal are exported, the existing output is too low to meet the international demand.”

Lentils are produced in all the districts in the country except Manang and Mustang. Commercial production, however, is concentrated in the Tarai. More than 90 percent of lentil is grown in the region because of its favourable climatic and soil conditions. Masoor—with brown skin and orange gain—is the common variety grown in Nepal.


Country     2011 (in tonnes)    2012 (in tonnes)

Canada    1,531,900    1,493,620

India    943,800    950,000

Australia    379,659    463,000

Turkey    405,952    438,000

USA    214,640    240,490

Nepal    206,869    208,201

China    150,000    145,000

Ethiopia    80,952    128,009

Syria    112,470    115,000

Iran    98,516    100,000

(Source: FAO)

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