Swelling festive demand pushes up meat prices

Prices of popular meat items like chicken and goat have increased in the Kathmandu valley with swelling festive demand. Goat prices have jumped by Rs 50 per kg to Rs 800 per kg while chicken prices rose by Rs 15 to Rs 265 per kg over a week.

Live chickens are being sold for Rs 200 per kg while live goats cost Rs 420 to Rs 450 per kg. Meanwhile, state-owned food supplier Nepal Food Corporation is selling live goats at Rs 406 to Rs 425 per kg from its depot at Thapathali. Traders said that Dashain had caused a significant increment in demand for meat in the domestic market.

Shreeya Dhakal, vice-president of the Nepal Chicken Sellers Association, said that chicken prices increased due to high demand and decreased supplies from across the country.

“With the approach of Dashain, people started celebrating it by consuming meat items, but supplies have not increased as per demand,” he said. “Although goat meat dominates the meat market during the Dashain festival, chicken meat also witnesses a rise in demand as prices are one-third of goat meat.”

According to the association, the Kathmandu valley consumes around 250,000 kg of chicken meat. Chitwan, Dhading, Nuwakot and Kavre are the major chicken suppliers to the valley, said traders.

A week ago, chicken prices were hovering around Rs 250 per kg due to slow demand with the occurrence of Sohra Shraddha when people don’t consume meat items.

“Although we imported around 80 percent more goats from India than normal times for this Dashain, we are finding it difficult to meet demand,” said Deepak Thapa, president of the Nepal Livestock Traders Association. Apart from India, goats are being supplied from Nepalgunj, Surkhet, Banke and Gaighat.

Thapa said that a drop in shipments of sheep and mountain goats due to the highway being cut off by landslides and floods also contributed to the jump in prices. He added that they had brought in 25,000 goats as of date. He said that the tendency to consume much meat during the 15-day festive period besides the tradition of sacrificing animals to the deities led to the rise in prices.

According to Thapa, around 400 traders are selling 5,000-10,000 live goats daily from the livestock markets at Kalanki, Tukucha Bazaar, Bijuli Bazaar, Koteshwor, Chabahil and New Bus Park in the Kathmandu valley.

Source: eKantipur