Nepal Food Corporation has begun transporting food grains to Upper Mustang through Tibet instead of flying it in. On 11 August, the first consignment of 138 quintals of rice was despatched to Lomanthang. This route is cheaper by Rs 1,500 per quintal than sending it by plane and then carried on mules.
Trucks take 15-20 days to complete the round-trip to Lomanthang and back. NFC sources say the government had originally planned to use Tibet's road network to supply food to other mountain districts also but only the supply to Lomanthang worked out cost effective. The government spends around Rs 200 million every year transporting food to deficit areas, most of which lie near the Tibet border in the mid- and far-western regions.