Kathmandu, December 26
The government has remained a mute spectator to recent incidents in the poultry industry that involved a 10-day campaign of hatcheries destroying six million chicks and poultry entrepreneurs arbitrarily hiking the price of chicken and eggs in the domestic market.
Citing the growing loss amid surplus production, hatcheries across the country stopped production of chicks for 10 days till Tuesday. Two days later, poultry entrepreneurs raised the chicken price by Rs 15 per kg to Rs 285 a kg. With this, the chicken price has been raised by Rs 35 per kg over a one-week period. Similarly, the price of eggs has been raised by Rs 15 per case to Rs 290 with effect from today.
In a bid to pressure the government to raise the price of chicks, hatcheries across the country stopped producing chicks for 10 days and apparently destroyed eggs that were ready to hatch. As entrepreneurs involved in the hatchery business claim that the country produces almost four million chicks every week, they believe that almost six million chicks were destroyed from hatching in the 10-day strike that started on December 14.
As those involved in hatchery business and poultry are almost the same entrepreneurs, they first destroyed the soon-to-hatch eggs and then raised prices of both chicken and eggs in the market, while the government remained a mere spectator.
As Nepal is self-sustaining in chicken and does not import the produce, a few big poultry entrepreneurs are trying to leverage their influence and create a monopoly in the market through support from a few government officials, charges consumer rights activist Jyoti Baniya.
“Poultry and hatchery entrepreneurs destroying their own assets in the name of growing loss was to create more assets,” said Baniya, adding that the government’s failure to intervene in such unlawful activities will make the market unhealthy and hit consumers badly.