Print Edition - 2014-05-26 | MONEY
Egg price jumps 25pc amid low production
May 25, 2014-
Egg prices have risen 25 percent over the last month. The wholesale price reached a new high of Rs 375 per crate (Rs 12.50 per piece), against Rs 300 per crate (Rs 10 per piece) a month ago.
Although the Nepal Egg Producer’s Association (NEPA) has fixed the maximum retail price Rs at 14 per piece, but retailers were on Sunday found to be selling eggs at Rs 15-16 per piece.
Egg producers attributed the price rise to low production due to rising temperature and an increase in input costs. They, however, expected the production to increase from June-July when the rain season starts.
NEPA Vice-president Pradip Kumar Khanal said the price hike was inevitable amid decreasing production due to rising temperature in various parts of the country. He said egg production has gone down by 40 percent in the last two-three months.
The daily demand for eggs stands at 2.2 million units in the country, while the Kathmandu valley alone consumes 1.6 million eggs a day, said Khanal, adding rising production costs also contributed to the price rise. “The price of Soya, which is a major component of chicken feed, has reached Rs 80 per kg from Rs 54 per kg last year,” he said. “Prices of other inputs have also increased significantly.”
High temperatures also increase input costs as farmers have to invest more in fans, electricity and glucose powders, according to Khanal.
As per the new rate, farmers get Rs 10.75 per piece, according to NEPA. An estimated 2,500 farmers are involved directly or indirectly in poultry farming in the country.
Traders said bird flu outbreak in mid-July last year was another reason for low production as many farmers of Chitwan, Bhaktapur and Kavre, among other districts, left poultry farming after facing huge losses.
Poultry farmers lost an estimated Rs 100 million due to the bird flu outbreak.
“Many farmers left the business, while some are reluctant to invest in egg incubation,” said Khanal. “So the government should bring favourable policies to encourage more people to get into poultry business.”
According to NEPA, Chitwan is the largest egg producer, followed by Bhaktapur and Kavre.
Poultry farming is also being expanded to other districts like Hetauda, Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Dang, Morang, Kaski, Dhangadhi and Siraha, among others.
Published: 26-05-2014 09:19