Rising Demand Boosts Poultry Meat Industry

NEPAL - There has been a surge in the poultry industry as demand spirals upwards.
calendar icon 20 September 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

Encouraged by robust market and high returns, investment in poultry sector has shot up by over 30 per cent, said poultry experts.

Myrepublica reports that the poultry sector – which contributes around three per cent in Gross Domestic Product – has seen an encouraging growth with total investment amounting to 24 billion rupees (NPR) over the period. Five years ago, total investment was estimated at NPR18 billion.

The surge in the scope and size of the business is due mainly to opening of big poultry farms, hatcheries and feed industries in poultry hub of Chitwan and other emerging new markets.

Dr Tilchandra Bhattarai, a poultry researcher, told Myrepublica: "Lower cost coupled with nutritional value of poultry products and their growing popularity among consumers has unleashed a huge potential for business expansion across the country. This is why there is an upward trend in opening new farms and expanding existing ones."

He said that the surge is particularly marked in hatcheries, commercial farms and feed production.

The new investors – Numbus, Rungta, Well-up and Pancharatna Groups – have been focusing on the production of pelleted feed with the use of latest production technology. Small feeds are also on the rise among moderate investment.

Meantime, Tribeni Group, Valley Feed Industries and Sagar Feeds are opening new feed industries in Birgunj, Hetauda and Itahari, respectively.

The cost of constructing a feed mill with high-technology plants and silo (storage tower) facility is estimated to be NPR150 to NPR250 million.

Dr Bhattarai, managing director of Pancharatna Group – one of the largest poultry entrepreneurs in the country – said he is all set to opening Ruchi Poultry in Shukranagar of Chitwan and Pancharatna Hatchery in Pokhara with the combined production capacity of 100,000 chicks per week.

Also the former president of Nepal Poultry Entrepreneurs Forum, an umbrella organization of poultry producers, Dr Bhattarai explained that investment in each hatchery hovers is typically between NPR220 million and NPR300 million, depending on the capacity and technology used.

Pancharatna also owns poultry farms in Kohalpur and Itahari, which have the capacity of 80,000 and 100,000 chickens, respectively. It is planning to expand capacity to 200,000 chickens in each of them.

Abhinash Group, which operates country´s largest hatchery, Abhinash Hatchery, also opening a state-of-the-art hatchery in Beldia of Nawalparasi with a target of production of 350,000 chicks per week.

"We are encouraged in funneling more money into poultry sector as demand for poultry products shoot up across the country," Gundchandra Bista, managing director of Abhinash Group, told Myrepublica.

Mr Bista, who is also the president of Nepal Hatcheries Association, said over 15 big hatcheries and half-a-dozen high technology feeds have been opened in the past five years with massive investment.

However, poultry entrepreneurs bemoan over a lack of export prospects for poultry products due to higher cost of domestic production.

"We can't compete with our Indian counterparts as production cost in Nepal is at least 15 per cent higher than in the southern neighbour," explained Dr Bhattarai.

He added that the populations of commercial broilers and layers grew by 18 per cent and 17 per cent to touch 46.76 million and 6.4 million, respectively, in 2009/10 compared to a year earlier.

Production of chicken shot up by 1.26 billion head (12 per cent) over the same period. Total feed production have gone up by 16 per cent to 581,132 tons during the review year.

To date, there are a total of 76 big hatcheries, 115 feed mills, 500 layers and 1,000 broiler farms in Nepal.

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