NEPAL - Poultry entrepreneurs are urging the government to introduce policies and programmes for reducing their production cost.
Speaking at a programme held in Bharatpur recently to mark 2nd National Poultry Day, poultry entrepreneurs said though Nepal is self-sufficient in poultry products they cannot compete with neighbouring markets of India in terms of prices, reports My Republica.
"We cannot compete with Indian poultry entrepreneurs in terms of prices as we are dependent on India for pellet feed," they added.
"Couple of years ago, 60 per cent of maize consumed by poultry industry used to come from domestic sources," Til Chandra Bhattarai, immediate past president of Nepal Chicken Entrepreneurs´ Forum (NCEF), said. "Now, we have to import 60 per cent of the maize needed for the industry."
He said that poultry entrepreneurs imported 4.7 billion rupees (NPR) worth of maize and NPR5.7 billion worth of soybean in the last fiscal year.
"Around 70 per cent of our investment goes to procure pellet feed," added Mr Bhattarai.
Poultry entrepreneurs have no option but to import pellet feed from India as local production cannot meet the growing demand.
"Government imposes different taxes on pellet feed. This increases our production cost," he added.
Mr Bhattarai also urged the government to encourage farmers to grow maize and soybean to bring down poultry production costs. He also demanded with the government to establish poultry laboratories in different parts of the country to help farmers.
Likewise, Chandra Man Shrestha, president of NCEF, said the poultry industry is in need of government support to adopt new technologies.
He told My Republica: "Layers in India lay more than 300 eggs as poultry entrepreneurs there have adopted modern technologies.
In Nepal, layers lay only around 265 eggs, he added.
"Our industry will be competitive only if the government encouraged farmers to embrace new technologies," he said.
Mr Shrestha also urged the government to come up with favourable policies for the sector.
"The government should provide us subsidy for import of raw materials," he told the newspaper.ThePoultrySite News Desk
Top image via Shutterstock