MUSTANG, Nepal - Being one of the oldest apple producers in the remote Mustang district, 75-year-old Nar Bahadur Hirachan feels proud that his village, Marhpa, produces the juiciest apples in Nepal.
"We used to sell apples by carrying them on bamboo baskets on our backs and walking to nearby cities. Later, the government helped us to market our products using helicopters since there were no roads. And now the demand is so high that buyers come here to pick apples from the trees themselves," he said.
Hirachan worked as a minister when Nepal was a kingdom about three decades ago. Now he owns 250 ropanies (1 ropani equals 509 square meters) of land, on which he makes a profit of more than 3 million rupees (about $30,000) annually.