KATHMANDU, Oct 3: Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) has started selling goats for the Dashain festival in Kathmandu from Sunday.
In the first phase, the corporation will sell 750 mountain goats brought from Mustang and 400 goats sourced from different Tarai districts. NFC has fixed the price at Rs 440 per kg for goats up to 25 kg and Rs 450 for goats above 25 kg. It is selling mountain goats at Rs 650 per kg.
“The price of goats is Rs 15 per kg up compared to last year, while the price of mountain goats has gone up by Rs 30 per kg,” Pawan Karki, spokesperson of NFC, said.
Karki said that NFC's price will be lower than of traders as the state-owned entity purchases goats directly from farmers. “Our aim is to encourage local farmers and sell goats to consumers at cheaper price,” Karki added.
NFC is selling goats from its Thapathali office. It is also bringing additional mountain goats and goats from Mustang and different Tarai districts, respectively.
“We are bringing 1,500 goats from districts like Dang, Mawkanpur and Siraha,” added Karki.
NFC brings goats only after veterinary doctors confirm that they are fit for consumption. It has set aside Rs 47 million for purchase of goats in this fiscal year.
Likewise, livestock traders are also importing 32,000 goats from India for the Dashain festival. Despite the government's plan to become self-sufficient in meat production, people still have to depend on imported livestock.
Nepal produces around 334,000 tons of meat annually, according to the Department of Livestock Services. Though consumption is increasing with every passing year, production is not growing at the same rate.
Around 50,000 of goats and sheep are consumed in Kathmandu during Dashain and Tihar, according to Nepal Livestock Traders Association.
The association estimates that traders and Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) combined will sell around 50,000 goats during the Dashain festival in the Kathmandu Valley alone.