Poultry owners anxious over foreign investment

Chitwan, February 20

Poultry entrepreneurs in Chitwan have started expressing concerns regarding foreign investment in poultry business in which the country has reached near self-reliant status.

As per poultry operators, some investors who established their business with small investments, have been facing existential crisis due to rising foreign investment of late. Investors from India and China have started investing in the poultry and feed industries in collaboration with Nepali business people.

Shankar Prasad Kandel, chairperson of Poultry Entrepreneurs’ Forum, said that two feed manufacturing companies, Well Hope and Sky Lark, were established with Chinese and Indian investment, respectively in the district. Similarly, another factory called New Hope is under construction with investment of a Chinese national in Chitwan, and Sneha also is under construction in Hetauda with Indian investment. Kandel is of the opinion that foreign investment in a sector in which the country is becoming self-reliant is not good.

Entrepreneurs say that foreign investment should be banned in the poultry sector. “If a Nepali national is provided with the facilities that the government has offered to foreign investors, we would be able to not only produce at a cheaper price but also increase production,” said Kandel.

According to entrepreneurs, firms established with Nepali investment have to compete with technologically well-equipped companies, which is difficult. “The government provides subsidies only to foreign investors and not to Nepalis, which creates an uneven playing field,” Kandel said.

Nimbus was the first foreign feed company established with Indian investment. After that Vaidya’s Organisation established Well Hope Feed Industry jointly with Chinese investors in Chitwan. “Though Indian investors withdrew their investment from Nimbus, various other companies have been emerging in the Nepali poultry market,” as per Kandel.

Meanwhile, Trilochan Kandel, general secretary of Nepal Egg Producers’ Association, said that many Nepali poultry companies were facing existential crisis due to the government’s apathy towards them. “The number of small-scale poultry farmers in Nepal is huge but many have been compelled to leave the profession due to government’s biased policy favouring foreign investors,” said T Kandel.

“Nepali investors have played a major role in developing the country’s poultry industry. Hence, foreign investment should be banned for the security of Nepali entrepreneurs,” opined Shiva Ram KC, central chairperson of the Egg Producers’ Association, Nepal.

District Veterinary Office Chitwan Chief Dr Dilli Ram Sedain said that the government should come up with a plan for the welfare of Nepali investors. He stated that the government should create an investment friendly atmosphere for its citizens.