One of the many downstream industries that tourism in Pokhara benefited were the vegetable, poultry, mushroom and trout farmers. During peak tourist seasons in spring and autumn, suppluy could not keep up with demand and food items had to be imported from Butwal and Kathmandu.
One of the investments that has taken a direct hit from the collapse of tourism has been trout farming. However, with the arrival of Nepali tourists, albeit in lower numbers, as well as the increased demand from customers in Pokhara itself for trout, business is picking up.
One of the pioneer farms is Gandaki Rainbow Trout Fish Farm established 12 years ago in Sardi Khola north of Pokhara. It has been supplying trout to restaurants and hotels in Pokhara, and business was booming until the pandemic struck.
Restaurants and supermarket sales have decreased, and so has the price of fish. Gandaki has had to make door-to-door sales in order to keep the business going.
“Now that visitor numbers are increasing gradually, the demand for our trout has grown again,” says Lachhin Gurung of Gandaki Trout.