Poultry firms in doldrums after earthquake

Chitwan, February 5

Poultry farmers have incurred a loss of around Rs 3.5 billion due to massive earthquakes last year and the ongoing blockade at border entry points.

Consumption of chicken dropped massively after the devastating earthquake, while protracted strikes and blockade made matters worse for the poultry farmers.

Til Chandra Bhattarai, a poultry entrepreneur and former president of Chitwan Chambers and Commerce and Industries, said poultry farmers incurred a loss of around Rs 3.3 billion after last year’s powerful earthquake.

According to Bhattarai, more than 2.5 lakh broiler chicks are produced per day in Nepal. “Though the production cost of a single broiler chick crosses Rs 48, we were compelled to trade it for Rs 30 for six months after the devastating earthquake,” he said.

Similarly, around 21,000 layer chicks are produced each day in the country. Though the production cost of a single layer chick crosses Rs 72, poultry farmers were compelled to trade it for Rs 40 during the first six months after the quake, incurring a loss of Rs 154 million.

Likewise, as many as 3,183,000 eggs are produced each day in the country. An egg costs Rs 8.5, but the farmers had to sell each egg for Rs 7 during the period.

Likewise, a total of 404,377 broilers are produced in Nepal per day. Though a kg of broiler chicken costs Rs 155, farmers were forced to sell for Rs 140 per kg during the period, incurring a total loss of Rs 727 million.

A total of 2,400 ton of feed is produced per day in the country. Each kg of the feed costs Rs 53, but the traders sold it for Rs 51 per kg during the period incurring a loss of Rs 408 million. “We incurred massive loss as we had to buy raw materials at double the market rate,” he said.

Poultry entrepreneurs, who were doing brisk business until the earthquake, have been facing an existential crisis due to huge loss.

“Entrepreneurs and investors along with the banks will face a hard time if the government doesn’t take immediate measures for the protection of poultry firms,” said chairman of Poultry Entrepreneurs’ Forum Shankar Prasad Kandel.