Meat production projected to inch up to 301k tonnes

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Meat production projected to inch up to 301k tonnes

Jun 10, 2015-

The country’s meat production is projected to grow a marginal 0.89 percent to 301,000 tonnes this fiscal year, according to a preliminary estimate of the Ministry of Agricultural Development released recently.

The ministry said that despite the large number livestock deaths in the earthquake, there would be no significant effect on meat production. According to the ministry, an estimated 18,000 head of cattle and 500,000 birds perished in the disaster. Similarly, 40,000 small quadrupeds like goats, sheep and pigs died.

The figure represents only a fraction of the country’s livestock population of nearly 8 million head of cattle, 10.95 million goats and sheep, 48 million chickens and 400,000 ducks.

Based on the national production figures, a Nepali eats an average of 11.35 kg of meat annually, a slight increase from 11.15 kg in the last fiscal year. The per capita meat consumption was 9.8 kg annually in 2008 and 9.7 kg in 2000. The meat products include buffalo, goat, sheep, pig and poultry, excluding fish.

Ministry officials said that with chicken becoming a favourite meat product, the rapid rise of the domestic poultry market is a good indication of the increasing meat consumption habit of Nepalis.

A study conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations of Nepal’s poultry sector in 2014 showed that the country’s poultry industry is valued at Rs22 billion.

“Meat consumption, particularly chicken, has been growing at a faster rate and further increases are expected in the years ahead as Nepal’s booming middle class is driving the demand,” said Hem Raj Regmi, senior statistician at the ministry’s Agri Business Promotion and Statistics Division. The ministry’s statistics show that meat consumption in Nepal jumped to 277,625 tonnes in 2010-11 from 194,613 tonnes in 2001-02. Despite the growth, Nepal is still far behind other developing countries.

According to the FAO, the world average meat consumption stands at 42.5 kg per person per year. In the developing countries, the rate is 32.4 kg. In the industrialised countries, the average meat consumption amounts to 79.2 kg.

Buffalo is the most popular meat among Nepalis followed by goat, chicken and pig. According to the ministry, buffalo meat accounts for 58 percent of the total meat production. Buff production is estimated to grow marginally to 174,000 tonnes this fiscal year from 173,120 tonnes in the last year.

Mutton is the second most popular meat product after buff, making up 20 percent of the country’s meat requirement. The production of mutton has been projected to grow to 60,900 tonnes this year from 59,050 tonnes last year. Chicken production, which fulfils 13 percent of the country’s meat requirement, is expected to swell to 43,458 tonnes from 40,690 tonnes in the last fiscal year. Chicken meat production has taken a great leap forward, doubling from 15,881 tonnes in 2003-04 to 36,085 tonnes in 2010-11.

Ministry officials said that despite the setback to the poultry sector as a result of bird flu outbreaks, it has been growing at a faster rate than expected. In July 2013, the government had banned poultry sales in the Kathmandu valley and even declared a bird flu emergency in severely affected areas. More than 1.96 million birds were culled following the outbreaks.

Likewise, the production of pork which fulfils 7 percent of the country’s meat requirement is projected to dip to 19,635 tonnes this year from 19,860 tonnes. According to the ministry, fish production is expected to jump 7 percent to 69,400 tonnes this fiscal year.

 

Published: 11-06-2015 09:24

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