KATHMANDU, July 26: After achieving self-sufficiency in eggs in Fiscal Year 2016/17, the government is now ramping up efforts to become self sufficient in milk and meat in the coming two years.
Buoyed by the success in stopping imports of eggs, the government is now making efforts to become self-sufficient in two more agro products. If the government plan comes to fruition, import of meat will stop from the current fiscal year 2017/18 and milk from Fiscal Year 2018/19.
End of import of these three agro products will help to bring down import bills of the country, thereby narrowing down ballooning trade deficit, say stakeholders.
Officials of the Ministry of Livestock Development (MoLD) told Republica that local production was sufficient to meet domestic demand of eggs in the last fiscal year, ending the need for imports.
“We managed to meet average minimum requirement of eggs in the last fiscal year. Now, our focus is on ending dependence on import for meat and milk and become self-sufficient in these products,” Banshi Sharma, a joint secretary at the MoLD, told Republica. “Per capita egg consumption is 48 units. We produced egg to meet the per capita consumption in the last fiscal year.”
According to Sharma, per capita meat consumption currently stands at 14 kg. “Local production can supply only 12.5 kg per person in a year. Similarly, per capita milk consumption is 91 liters. But local production is sufficient to supply only 72 liters per person in a year,” he added.
Sharma also said that the ministry was implementing various programs to boost production by encouraging commercial poultry farming and livestock development programs to meet deficit in supply of milk and meat. “We are hopeful of achieving self-sufficiency in milk and meat within two years,” he added.
According to Sharma, the government has allocated Rs 3.44 billion to local units for livestock development. “This budgetary allocation will help us to meet the government target of become self-reliant in two major livestock products,” he added.