CHITWAN, May 2: Egg price has fallen below the cost of production due to decreased consumption in the wake of recent bird flu cases in Hetauda and Kathmandu.
Farmers in Chitwan have said that they have to sell eggs at Rs 6.66 per unit while the cost of production is Rs 10.50 per unit.
As fewer people are consuming eggs due to fear of bird flu, the total consumption has gone down, according to poultry farmers. They are worried that they will have to bear significant losses if the situation persists.
With the high demand of eggs sometime ago, the production had increased rapidly. Farmers had pinned hope on earning profits from the poultry produce. But the emergence of bird flu came as a curse for the farmers, causing the demand to go down. On the other hand, the cost of production has seen a steady rise over the past months, narrowing the profit margin for farmers.
Raghunath Bhatta, a farmer of Ratnanagar Municipality Ward 12, said that he has reduced production capacity in the recent years with the volatile prices. He said his earning is often less than the production cost. Bhatta, who started poultry farming two decades ago, said that the prices of poultry feed and medicines have increased.
Bhatta and other farmers say that the low price is not an issue they have to face only during the outbreak of bird flu, but it is a persisting problem for them. The price of their products is not at par to earn them profits, they claim.
Farmers have been facing losses due to decreasing egg price because of low annual increment in the demand, which hovers around 8 to 10 percent, while egg production has increased by 40 percent over the past few years, according to Trilochan Kandel, president of Egg Producers Association.