KATHMANDU, Sept 27: Livestock traders have initiated the process to import 32,000 goats from India for the Dashain festival.
Around 50,000 of goats and sheep are consumed in Kathmandu during Dashain and Tihar, according to Nepal Livestock Traders Association. Similarly, 18,000 goats and sheep will be brought from various districts of Nepal as well as from Tibet.
Though the government has unveiled plan to become self-sufficient in meat production, people are still consuming imported meat products.
“Livestock traders are importing goats worth Rs 500 million from India. Local productions meet only 10-15 percent demand for goats,” Govinda Pathak, President of Nepal Livestock Traders Association, said.
Traders are importing mountain goats and sheep from Tibet via Kerung and Korala entry points as well. Similarly, they are also bringing large number of duck and water buffaloes for the festive season.
According to Pathak, traders bring goats from districts like Udayapur, Sindhuli, Khotang, Siraha, Salyan, Dang, Kailali and Jajarkot.
The association estimates that traders and Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) will sell around 50,000 goats in the Kathmandu Valley alone. NFC is bringing 1,500 sheep and mountain goats from Mustang.
Pawan Kumar Karki, the spokesperson of the NFC, said that they were bringing goats and sheep from various districts to provide hygienic meat products at cheaper rates.
Nepal produces around 334,000 tons of peat annually, according to the Department of Livestock Services. Though consumption is increasing with every passing year, production is more or less stagnant.
Meanwhile, animal quarantine offices under the Department of Livestock Services have started surveillance at the border points to make sure that only healthy animals are imported into the country.