An outlet of Krishi Fresh at Sanepa. Photo: Ayam Shrestha
The organic store chain plans to have 50 outlets in the near future.
KATHMANDU, Dec 28: Agricultural Development Multipurpose Co-operative, or Krishi Group, which runs Krishi Fresh outlets at seven places in the Kathmandu Valley, is gradually gaining popularity among valley denizens.
Although the price of organic vegetables sold here are somewhat expensive compared to those sold in regular groceries, the Krishi Fresh outlets are drawing consumers in droves. “We have been receiving an overwhelming response from our customers. Sales in our Sanepa outlet alone ranges between Rs 10,000 to Rs 18,000 per day,” Kalpana Neupane, a salesperson at the Sanepa outlet of Krishi Fresh, told Republica.
Krishi Group has been producing vegetables and other edible products in its farm spread over 200 ropani at Tikathali of Lalitpur. A team of agricultural experts and around 200 workers grow organic vegetables and other edible products in the farm.
Ratna Shrestha, who was seen buying vegetables at the store some days ago, said he prefers organic vegetables even though they more expensive compared to other grocery stores. “As these vegetables are produced without no chemical fertilizers and pesticides, we feel safe consuming them,” he added. He further added that vegetables purchased here are tastier and easy to cook. “As we have been reading news of haphazard use of chemical fertilizers in vegetables, paying a bit more is worth it.”
Manish Joshi, executive director of Krishi Fresh, said using only organic fertilizers results in less production and there is risk of pest infestation. “We tackle pest infestation by using biological pest control mechanism,” he said, adding: “From the organically produced vegetables, we sort out the best ones and take them to the market. Defective ones are used as compost. It is one of the reasons that make our products slightly expensive.”
According to Tej Bikram Thapa, executive chairman of Krishi Group, the combined daily sales of eight Krishi Fresh outlets is around Rs 80,000. “Over the past eight years, our net worth has increased from Rs 25 million to around Rs 70 million,” Thapa said, adding: “Despite the complications of organic farming, we aim to provide clean and best quality veggies to the public through procedures such as ozonization through we eliminate and neutralize bacteria and chemicals that might come from the atmosphere.”
Krishi Fresh currently has outlets at Bafal, Sanepa, Pepsicola, Basundhara, Balkot, Gothatar, Lagankhel and Tikathali. The company aims to have 50 such outlets in the near future.