Uttarakhand Residents Flock to Nepal for Affordable Tomato Shopping

According to a report by Prem Punetha, the soaring prices of tomatoes in recent weeks have compelled numerous individuals residing near the India-Nepal border in Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand, to venture across the border and purchase tomatoes from there. The scarcity and exorbitant costs of tomatoes within India have prompted these cross-border shopping trips, as locals seek more affordable alternatives to meet their tomato needs.

Residents of Dharchula and Banbasa, situated near the border, have found a cost-effective solution for purchasing tomatoes. They have started crossing the border into Nepal, where tomatoes are available at nearly half the price compared to India. In India, tomatoes are being sold at a range of Rs 120 to Rs 130 per kilogram, whereas in Nepal, they are priced at around Rs 100 to Rs 110 Nepali rupees, equivalent to Rs 62 to Rs 69 in India. Local resident Kamal Joshi from Darchula, Nepal, explained that businessmen in Nepal are earning twice as much as their usual income from vegetable sales. The farmers in Nepal have recognized a seasonal trend where vegetable prices tend to rise during the monsoon season in India. This has prompted residents of the border towns to take advantage of the lower tomato prices in Nepal.

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Nepal Reaping Rewards with Crop Diversification

Nepali farmers have come to the realization that the arrival of monsoons typically leads to an increase in vegetable prices across the border in India. In response to this trend, the government has actively encouraged farmers to embrace crop diversification, urging them to shift from grains to vegetables. To support this transition, the Nepal government has taken several measures, such as forming farmer groups, supplying them with seeds, fertilizers, and poly houses, and offering various agricultural subsidies. As a result, many farmers in Nepal have successfully ventured into the cultivation of both seasonal and non-seasonal vegetables, including tomatoes. These farmers are now reaping the benefits of the surging prices of their produce in the Indian market.

According to Joshi, local farmers in the regions of Pithoragarh and Champawat in Uttarakhand have been cultivating cauliflowers and spinach, and serving as suppliers to Indian markets during periods of scarcity or price fluctuations. These districts, located in close proximity to the Nepal border, are known for their regular cross-border trade. Residents from both sides frequently traverse the bridges connecting the two countries in order to access markets across the border.

According to Surendra Kumar, a vegetable seller and local traders’ union head from Jhulaghat in Pithoragarh, residents and traders have started buying tomatoes from Nepal. Recently, local traders purchased tomatoes in bulk at a wholesale rate of Rs 40 per kg. In the past, items like potatoes and onions were typically exported from India to Nepal, but the tables seem to have turned now. Sankar Dhami, a Nepali individual, mentioned that the exchange rate plays a key role, as Nepali traders prefer dealing in Indian rupees for the advantage of receiving more Nepali rupees in return.

According to Pithoragarh District Magistrate Reena Joshi, individuals from both sides typically traverse the border to purchase essential items in small quantities, while the security agencies ensure thorough scrutiny of these transactions.


Uttarakhand residents near the India-Nepal border are crossing over to Nepal to buy tomatoes at lower prices due to soaring costs in India. This trend is a result of crop diversification in Nepal, where farmers have shifted to vegetable cultivation. The Nepali government has supported this transition through various measures, leading to higher profits for farmers. The exchange rate and proximity to the border have facilitated the cross-border trade. Both sides ensure security checks on these small-scale purchases.

Akash Shrivastav

My name is Akash Shrivastav, and I am a Blogger. I have 8 years of experience in blogging for Finance, Business, Investment, Stock Market, Cryptocurreny and more. Through my writing, I aim to provide readers with insightful and informative content.