Minister for Agiculture and Livestock Development Chakrapani Khanal addresses a function organized in Kathmandu on Tuesday to celebrate the establishment day of Department of Livestock Services. Photo: Republica
KATHMANDU, Oct 2: Nepal will become self-reliant in goats and buffaloes in two years, according to Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Chakrapani Khanal.
Addressing an event on the occasion of the establishment day of Department of Livestock Services, Khanal said that Nepal has become self-reliant on eggs and chicken for consumption but the country is yet to have enough production of goats and buffaloes.
“We have started programs to attract the youth into agriculture to increase the production of livestock,” he added. “Our focus is on the production of goats, and if everything goes according to the plan, Nepal will become self-reliant on goats in two years.”
Speaking on the occasion, he said the country needed to focus on the production of buffaloes and upgrade the production of fishes. “If we work on market management, pay farmers the price they deserve, control the price of chicken feed and remove middlemen from the ecosystem, the problem will be solved,” he said.
The price of goat rose after the government made health examination certificates of livestock mandatory for import in July. The import of goats from India has stopped after the traders failed to present the document in the quarantine office. Commenting on the imposition of quarantine on livestock, Minister Khanal said: “We have not restricted the import of livestock. It is about the consumer’s right to know how healthy the product they are consuming is.”
He indicated that the middlemen were the ones opposing the government’s rule. “Rather than seeking cheap products, we should trade products staying in the periphery of the international law.”
The demand and consumption of goats rises during Dashain festival. With the rise in demand, traders get involved in price irregularity. The demand of goats during Dashain festivals in the Kathmandu Valley stands at 50,000 live goats. With the implementation of quarantine, the import of goats from India has declined. Deepak Thapa, past president of Nepal Livestock Traders Association said: “The goats are being illegally imported from India without health examination certificate as demanded by the government.”
The state-owned Food Management and Trading Company Ltd (FMTC) sells mountain goats and goats every year for Dashain festivals. The FMTC sells goats at a discounted price. The trading company has planned to sell around 3,000 goats this year during the time of Dashain, according to officials.
The FMTC has fixed the price of live mountain goat at Rs 730 per kg and Rs 550 per kg for goats after providing a 10 percent discount. It started selling mountain goats and goats from Monday. According to the company, 2,000 mountain goats have been brought from Mustang and the other 1,000 goats from Hetauda and Dang.
Meanwhile, traders in the market are selling live goats at a price range of Rs 550 to Rs 650 per kg and mountain goats at Rs 750 to Rs 800 per kg. Minister Khanal indicating the problem in trade of goats during Dashain has asked the stakeholders to identify the cause of problem and seek its solution.