Effective government intervention, however, is needed to provide relief to consumers: Goat producers
KATHMANDU, Sept 30: The price of goat meat is likely to remain stable in the Kathmandu Valley during the upcoming festivals this year, as the production of local goats outweighs average demand, said the goat producers.
According to them, farmers will have around 50,000 goats ready for sale while the expected demand is 25,000-30,000 during Dashain. Shyam Kumar Pokhrel, president of Goat Farmers’ Federation, told Republica that the production has gone up by a notable number this year while the consumption remains slow due to the nearly six-month long lockdown earlier.
Pokhrel said Heifer International Nepal is also expected to supply around 25,000 goats during Dashain. In addition, the state-owned Food Management and Trading Company has planned to sell around 3,000 goats and mountain goats.“With excess supply in place, the price of live goats will remain at Rs 600-650 per kg, like in the last year,” said Pokhrel.
Nepal is now heading toward being self-reliant in goat production as many farmers have started rearing the livestock of late. Earlier, goats imported from India used to meet 90 percent of the domestic demand.
Pokhrel said a positive development has been seen in the sector after the government made pesticide residue tests mandatory on all imported agricultural produce since June 17, 2019. “In addition, many international organizations have also been supporting rural farmers to improve their livelihoods via goat rearing,” he said.
Pokhrel said the federation has planned to sell live goats from a number of locations in the Kathmandu Valley to ease the supply. He sought the government’s role in checking the price hike of goat meat.
Last year, the traders hiked the price of goat meat abnormally to up to Rs 1,800 per kg during Dashain, citing short supply due to the government’s restrictive measures on import. “An effective state mechanism should be made to control cheating of consumers by the unscrupulous traders,” Pokhrel said.
According to the federation, except Gandaki Province, goats produced in the rest of the six provinces will be supplied to the Valley for Dashain. According to farmers, goat production has recently surged significantly in rural areas of Morang, Jhapa, Kavrepalanchowk, Bardiya, Ramechhap, Nuwakot and Dhading districts.