Tsirang Poultry Businesses Threatened by Indian Rupee

BHUTAN - Poultry farmers and egg dealers in the chicken capital, Tsirang, say their business is threatened by the Indian Rupee (INR) crunch, without which they cannot buy packaging material for safe transportation of the eggs.
calendar icon 18 April 2012
clock icon 3 minute read

Kuensel Online reports that while the eggs are produced in Tsirang, the packaging material, mainly the tray, which holds the eggs, and the carton, within which the trays are placed for transportation, are imported from India.

There is an acute shortage of packaging material, which was earlier imported, via Phuentsholing, by Karma Feed agents in Damphu town and sold to the businesses.

“Without INR, we haven’t been able to import even a bundle of egg trays,” a Karma Feed agent said.

Bhim Maya, an egg dealer, said it cost Nu 550- 650 for a bundle of egg trays, which consists of 100 pieces. A carton costs Nu 35-45.

Ran Bdr Tamang, a poultry farmer who supplies more than three cartons to Thimphu every day, was worried the eggs might go bad. “This is the first time we’re facing such a problem,” Ran Bdr Tamang said. “People don’t buy eggs without trays, as it’ll likely be broken.”

The problems don’t end here for the farmers. “Failure to sell eggs on time affects our earnings, which affects feeding and subsequently egg production,” Dil Bdr, another poultry farmer said.

Dil Bdr owns about 1,550 birds, from which he collects more than three cartons of eggs in a day. A carton contains 210 eggs. “It cost Nu 1,085 for 50kg Karma Feed, and it’s sufficient to feed only about 500 chickens,” he said.

“In a day, I have to purchase a minimum of 150kg Karma Feed to feed all my birds,” said Dil Bdr.

The farmers felt there was a need for alternative ways to pack and transport the eggs for business to go on as usual. “If we fail to get the material. I’m thinking I should look for alternatives,” said a farmer.

District livestock office records show 150 poultry farmers in Tsirang with 100 birds each, and five commercial poultry farms with over 1,000 birds. Farms with more than 150 birds are considered commercial.

The rate, meanwhile, remain unchanged at Nu 7.5–8.5 an egg.

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