Kathmandu, March 31
After the government issued a notice directing concerned authorities to allow movement of vehicles ferrying agricultural products, chicken supply has become smooth in the market.
Issuing a notice on March 27, the Ministry of Home Affairs had directed the local administrations and security bodies to allow movement of vehicles carrying agricultural products such as milk, fruits, vegetables, meat items, eggs, chickens and animal feed.
“It has been two days now that we have opened our shop after the supplier started supplying chicken to our shop,” said Suroj Shahi, a trader from Jorpati.
According to him, though the government had announced that vehicles carrying food items would be allowed to operate, suppliers had not operated their vehicles in the first week of the lockdown.
“The suppliers had said that they had not received permission from the local administration in the initial week of the lockdown,” said Shahi, adding that though supply has resumed, they have not been getting the required quantity. “We had placed an order for 40 kg chicken today but we received only 25 kg.”
He further added that there are still some shops that have remained closed as they had not received their supplies.
As per Navaraj Basnet, president of Nepal Farmer Group Federation, farmers have been unable to supply chicken in the market especially in city areas.
“There is still a long queue of suppliers at District Administration Offices (DAOs) waiting to get the permit to operate their vehicles, however the respective DAOs have been insensitive towards this issue,” he added. “This is the perfect time to utilise domestic production as imports have halted.”
He further said that the farmers would be encouraged if the government could guarantee a market for their produce in this crisis.
Amid this, consumption of eggs has increased in Kathmandu valley due to the lockdown.
As it is easy to make various dishes by using eggs as the main ingredient, egg consumption has increased in the country, explained Shiva Raj KC, president of Nepal Egg Producers Association. “Egg consumption has increased significantly in the country, especially inside the valley,” he said.
“Around 3.1 million units of eggs are being supplied daily in the valley while in normal days the demand hovers around 2.8 to 2.9 million units of eggs,” he informed, adding that a lot of people seem to have stockpiled eggs.
KC further stated that they are also facing problems in supplying their produce as the DAOs, especially in village areas, are not allowing their vehicles to operate citing the lockdown.
A version of this article appears in print on April 01, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.