DoLS calls livestock farmers for talks

Kathmandu, December 20

The Department of Livestock Services (DoLS) has called livestock farmers for discussions to sort out the issue of chicken price.

As the Nepal Hatchery Industry Association has decided to destroy six million chicks in 10 days as a protest against the government, DoLS has called the association for a discussion.

Starting from December 14, the farmers have started destroying their chicks and halting the production of chicken demanding the government to increase the price of eggs and chicks.

“The department has sent a message to the association requesting it for a discussion and they are ready for the talks,” said Banshi Sharma, director general of DoLS.

As per him, the government and the association have reached a consensus for discussion after the protest ends. “It is the farmer’s right to protest for market price. So, we have decided not to interfere during their 10-day protest while they have assured us to sit for talks.”

Sharma further said that it’s normal for the price to drop when the supply is high in the market. Nepal has become self-reliant in chicken and production has exceeded market demand.

“In such a situation, a drop in price is normal but it is also true that the price of eggs and chicks needs to be revised,” he said, adding, “After their protest ends, we will hold talks with experts and farmers to sort out the issue.”

As per Sharma, farmers will have destroyed eggs and chicks worth Rs 300 million during the protest period. And due to this, the market will face shortage of around 12 million kg of chicken over the next one month as one egg takes around 21 days to hatch. Currently, the farmers are producing around four million to 4.5 million kg of chicken per month, while the market demand stands at 3.2 million kg of chicken per month.

“The government is aware about the issues of farmers and we are also trying to manage excessive production and market demand,” Sharma said, adding, “We may adopt a quota system for chicken production to determine suitable market price for both consumers and farmers.”

Under the quota system, the government will coordinate with farmers and traders for production and supply of chicken based on the market demand every month, he added.

Sharma further assured that there will be no price hike or shortage of chicken due to this protest. However, if any trader is found selling chicken and egg at a high price citing this protest, the government will take action against them.