Slaughterhouses, meat marts to be set up with govt grant
Kathmandu, September 7
Due to lack of initiation from local bodies, the government has now taken upon itself to encourage developers to set up slaughterhouses and meat marts in the country.
According to the Department of Livestock Services (DoLS), the government has allocated resources this fiscal to provide grant to two large scale slaughterhouses and 20 meat marts. The initial plan is to establish the slaughterhouses in the outskirts of the Valley, with each having capacity to slaughter 300 cattle per day.
The government had introduced Slaughterhouse and Meat Inspection Act in 1999. However, the act has not been enforced as the local bodies (municipalities and village development committees) have not shown willingness to develop slaughterhouses and meat marts.
Local bodies are authorised to develop the slaughterhouses and meat marts, and DoLS is authorised to regulate licensed slaughterhouses, according to Keshab Prasad Premy, director general of DoLS.
Hence, the government has now taken the initiative to develop the slaughterhouses by allocating funds in the budget in this fiscal. For this, the private sector and cooperatives can obtain the government’s grant to develop the slaughterhouses.
The DoLS will extend grant of up to Rs 60 million to the developer on instalment basis, according to Premy.
As per the DoLS, a well facilitated slaughterhouse, which has capacity to slaughter around 300 cattle per day, can be developed at a total cost of around Rs 120 million. This means the government’s grand will cover 50 per cent of the total investment.
The developer would need to meet all the criteria set by the government, including required facilities for operation of the slaughterhouse, to receive the grant amount.
“After receiving application for the grant, and if it is deemed feasible, our team will start inspecting the construction site of the slaughterhouse and release the grant in different phases of its development,” Director General Premy said.
Traditional slaughtering techniques, unsafe transport system, and lack of refrigerated vans for transport of meat, among others have been identified as the major problems in supplying hygienic meat to consumers. A few months back, a market monitoring team mobilised by the government had found slaughterhouses operating in extremely unhygienic conditions and supplying rotten meat in the market.
The government has planned to develop the slaughterhouses eyeing the high demand of meat in the Valley. Daily consumption of meat in Kathmandu Valley, which stands at around 350,000 kg, is the highest in the country, followed by Pokhara, according to DoLS.
Similarly, DoLS is also offering grant of around 70 per cent of the total cost of developing 20 meat marts in this fiscal.
Those who sell over 200 kg meat every day can apply for the government’s grant assistance to upgrade their meat house. However, freshers in the business can also apply for the support and develop meat mart. The DoLS can provide up to Rs five million for each meat mart that meets the set criteria, like availability of refrigerated van and deep freezers, among others.