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This paper studies the integration of rice markets in the mid-west and far-west districts of Nepal. The data were drawn mainly from the World Food Programme (WFP) database on Nepal. Results indicate that the rice markets of the hinterland are poorly integrated with the regional market of Nepalgunj. In contrast, price fluctuations are transmitted, both in the short and medium run, across the Indian-Nepali border between Nepalgunj and the Indian border districts of Rupedia and Jogbani. Large price differentials relative to transport costs indicate market inefficiencies in the mid-west and far-west districts of Nepal. Moreover, the poor road infrastructure determines the price differentials. Poor infrastructure impedes price correlation and convergence between these districts. Given its opendoor policy with India and the ongoing efforts to further align trade policies with the World Trade Organization, the findings suggest that Nepal would maintain its partnership with India and build an effective market surveillance system that covers the Indian border markets as well, to ensure food security in the short run. However, substantial investment in transport infrastructure is required to improve market integration and accessibility in the long run, especially in the hilly and mountainous areas.


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