Around 460,000 kg of rice donated by Japan is lying unused in the warehouse of the government-run organization Nepal Food Corp. On June 5, 2013, officials said that the donated rice is lying in a district in far-western region of Nepal, as it has failed to find any takers.
Villagers in the Jumla district, 350 kilometers from Katmandu are choosing to buy the more expensive Nepali rice, which can be bought locally. The Nepali rice is sold locally to the subsidized Japanese rice because of the different taste and the fact that Japanese rice becomes sticky and does not increase in volume during cooking.
Rana Bahadur Budhathoki, NFC chief for the district said, “Though the Japanese rice is far better in quality than Nepali rice sold in the district, people are not buying Japanese rice because of their food habit”. The subsidized Japanese rice is priced at 39 rupees per kg, but the villagers are buying the Nepali rice which is priced between 40 and 100 rupees per kg.
Budhathoki went on to say that another important reason why the Nepalese do not prefer Japanese rice is the fact that it does not swell during cooking. The villagers also complain that they do not know how to cook Japanese rice.