Nepal has become self-reliant in livestock products, including poultry eggs, fish and meat.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli made the announcement today on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) that the country has now become self-sufficient in powdered milk, butter, eggs and meat products.

According to the ministry, the announcement has been made on the basis of needs and production conditions in line with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) criteria.

Annual egg production has reached 55 per capita. It was informed on the occasion that the annual per capita meat production has reached 18 kg. The per capita production of fish is 3.5 kg. The ministry has stated that while the threshold to become self-sufficient in milk has been set at 91 litres per person per year, only 79 litres of milk is being produced at the moment.

According to the ministry, Nepal produces 1.6 billion eggs and 250,000 tonnes of chicken (meat) annually. The ministry has informed that 500,000 jobs have been created in the overall poultry sector.

On the occasion, PM Oli stressed on the need for the farmers to focus on large scale production for better income and to become self-reliant.

He clarified that the government is planning to allow foreign investment in agriculture sector with an aim to create equilibrium of money, labour and technology.

Assuring of strict conditions for foreign investment in the sector, he said such companies would be required to export 75 per cent of their production and would also help produce surplus milk in the country.

While urging the banks and financial institutions to reduce the premium fee for agriculture and livestock insurance, the prime minister announced that a chemical fertiliser factory will be set up within the country in the near future. "Once the factory is established, our dependence on import of chemical fertiliser will end."

Meanwhile, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Padma Aryal thanked the farmers and industrialists for their support in making the country self-reliant in the production of livestock products.

She said that the government will invest in the consumption and marketing of the products.

Minister Aryal informed that she will soon declare full self-sufficiency in milk and fish.

Former secretary Krishna Chandra Poudel, fisheries farmer Ram Shovit Mukhiya, poultry farmer Gunachandra Bishta, Sujal Dairy Chairman Ganesh Bahadur Shrestha, pig farmer Kalawati Bhatta, farmer Maya Kala Bishta, Secretary of Ekata Mahila Samuha Surkhet and goat farmer Muna Pokhrel and others were awarded during the occasion.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 26, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.