POKHARA, Oct 7: The state-owned Food Management and Trading Company (FMTC) is less likely to purchase and sell mountain goats this Dashain as farmers have tagged higher prices this year.
Mountain goats from Tibet will not be imported from Tibet for this year’s Dashain festival as the border points with China remain closed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The number of mountain goats available in local markets in Pokhara and elsewhere is likely to see a sharp decrease as local traders are also hesitant to buy mountain goats from places like Mustang at such higher prices. Local traders believe that the prices of mountain goats will see a sharp hike this Dashain because of the limited number of mountain goats available in the market.
Binod Chand, chief at the FMTC in Mustang, said the company has decided not to purchase mountain goats this year as farmers are found tagging much higher prices as compared to previous year.
Last year, the company had purchased live mountain goats for Rs 560 per kilogram and had sent them to Kathmandu whereas the price has gone up to Rs 750 per kilogram this year. “We visited Upper Mustang in search of mountain goats but they are not sufficient,” he said, “Farmers have increased the price. It is up by Rs 200 per kilogram.”
The existing Procurement Rule allows them the rights to increase the price by 10 percent as compared to the prices of previous year. They allow FMTC to pay Rs 615 per kilogram to make a purchase. However, farmers are not ready to sell them for less than Rs 750 per kilogram this year.
Chand said it will be too expensive to purchase mountain goats at the price tagged by farmers and send them to Kathmandu. “We have exceeded the time limit for buying the goats. We should send the goats to Kathmandu within 20 days from today. But we do not have enough time to do that now,” he told Republica.
The FMTC had invested Rs 30 million to buy 1,920 mountain goats last year. “We need to follow the same procedure while buying them for which we lack sufficient time,” he said.
Officials at FMTC said the price of mountain goats cannot be reduced in the following year if the deal is confirmed at the higher prices this year. This has made the FMTC hesitant to make any purchase deal.
Local production of mountain goats is not sufficient for consumption during Dashain. Although the local demand of mountain goats used to be met through import from Tibet in the past, the closure of the border with China to contain the spread of COVID-19 this year has made it difficult to import them. Chand said the local traders, who went to rural villages in Mustang to buy mountain goats, are still trying to buy mountain goats at moderate prices.