Money

Farmers face financial ruin amid egg glut

- ARJUN RAJBANSHI

DAMAK,

Farmers of Jhapa district are rueing the decision to put literally all their eggs in one basket as prices for the product have plunged in the past three months.

According to Egg Producers Association, oversupply of eggs from outside the district has reduced egg prices so much that farmers are not even able to recoup their production expenditure.

Currently, one egg costs Rs7.61 in the district compared to last year’s price of Rs11 in the same period last year, according to Bharat Chamlagain, past chairman of the association. A carton of eggs now fetch Rs1,400 to Rs2,000. Last year, the prices per carton was Rs2,400 to Rs4,260.

With over 70 farms in the district with a total of 325,000 hens, the district produces 157,500 eggs per day—about 750 cartons. But demand for eggs in the district stands at only 130,000.

To produce one carton of eggs, it costs Rs1,800. And with current prices being  lower than that has caused farmers to worry about their financial future who are losing millions a month with the prices in freefall.

 Devendra Prasain, district chairman of the association said, “We are not being able to find ways to reduce the losses. It will be hard for farmers to sustain for much longer if the market prices do not improve.”  

Prasain has been running Damak Agriculture Farm in Damak Municipality-10. There are 20,800 hens in the farm.

The farm produces 15,200 eggs daily. He has made 12 coops on two bigha of land. Prasain said that he incurs monthly expenses totalling Rs4 million while producing egg in the farm including worker salaries, hen feed and medicine and transportation.

In the past three months, Prasain generated only Rs3.6 million per month from the sales of egg.

Similarly, Rajendra Prasad Bhandari, district secretary of the association called on the government to step in and introduce policies to improve the egg market. If the situation continues, all the egg producers will have huge interests to pay and the business will be forced to close, he said.

Published: 2018-08-04 09:15:05