KATHMANDU, Oct 17: Nepal imported live animals worth around Rs 3.59 billion in the Fiscal Year 2015/16.
According to the Department of Customs (DoC), the country imported live animals from countries like India, England, Germany, France, America, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Netherlands and Australia.
Nepal imported 479,207 goats worth Rs 2.66 billion, 8,393 sheep worth Rs 50 million and 7,198 water buffaloes worth Rs 30.87 million from India -- the key source country.
Similarly, the country brought 23 horses and 1,475 cows of improved breed worth Rs 7.6 million from India.
According to DoC, Nepal also imported 800,065 chickens worth around Rs 5.39 million during the review year. Chickens weighing less than 185 grams are imported from the US, England and Thailand. Chickens are imported also from France and Germany.
Likewise, some 877 mules worth Rs 7.7 million were brought from India in the review year.
Mules are used to transport goods in the Himalayan region.
The government's effort and investment to expand livestock farming has not yielded satisfactory results. Meat production grew by mere 0.89 percent to 301,000 tons in the last fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Agricultural Development.
Kathmandu Valley alone consumed Rs 1.32 billion worth of chicken, goat and mountain goat meat during Dashain this year. According to the Nepal Livestock Traders Association, goat and mountain goats worth Rs 800 million were sold during the festival.
Similarly, the Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) sold goats worth Rs 39.2 million during Dashain.
Officials of the association estimate that around 55,000 goats and mountain goats were slaughtered during the festival.
According to the association, live goat was sold at around Rs 510 per kg and live mountain goat at Rs 700 per kg. Before Dashain, live goat was traded at around Rs 460 per kg.
Likewise, the NFC sold live goats at Rs 450 per kg and live mountain goats at Rs 650 per kg. It sold 1,538 goats and 1,462 mountain goats during the Dashain festival.
The Valley denizens also consumed chicken worth Rs 513 million during the Dashain festival. Traders say around 300 tons of chicken is sold in the Valley every day.
The association had fixed the price of chicken during Dashain at Rs 285 per kg.