The fruits of their labour by Kishor Maharjan

THE FRUITS OF THEIR LABOUR: It is 11:30 AM in Martadi and Chandra Khatri has just arrived with 15 kgs of apples. He sets his sack down, “I left home at 4 AM this morning,” he says. Khatri does this at least four times a week but this season has been extremely difficult for Bajura’s apple farmers. “The nation-wide lockdown prevented us from moving our supplies,” says Khatri, “Now most parts of the highway are destroyed by landslides making it impossible for us to reach Martadi.”


But the production of apples this year has suffered too. “It was challenging to find fertilizers and pesticides due to the lockdown,” says Khatri, “Then came the heavy rainfall and hail and so much was destroyed.” He has brought along some of the younger villagers to help him with the apple shop today. They are selling the apples per piece and they go from Rs. 5 to Rs 20 depending on their variety and size.

A big crowd forms as soon as Khatri and his friend set their sacks down. The apples are popular with the locals and every apple they carried is sold out within two hours. “The pandemic has been hard, but it makes me happy to see all the apples gone,” says Khatri.

Photos and Text: Kishor Maharjan @kishor.maharjan

Edit: Mallika Aryal @mikaness

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