Livestock innovation project to boost productivity mulledThe Ministry of Livestock Development is launching a livestock innovation project to increase productivity and incomes in the agricultural sector by promoting and disseminating modern livestock technologies.
The Ministry of Livestock Development is launching a livestock innovation project to increase productivity and incomes in the agricultural sector by promoting and disseminating modern livestock technologies.
The proposed project will be particularly focused on research and development and building awareness of the development impacts among farmers and the private sector, the ministry said. “The project is currently at a formulation stage,” said Yubak Dhoj GC, secretary of the ministry.
He added that the ministry had aimed to achieve self-sufficiency in meat by two years and milk by three years. Likewise, it has targeted self-sufficiency in eggs in one year.
Apart from research and development, the project will focus on breed improvement, grass mission, animal health and vaccine production and marketing for sustainable development of livestock, according to GC.
Livestock accounts for 11 percent of Nepal’s GDP. The country produces meat worth Rs45 billion annually, GC said. Likewise, milk production stands at Rs10 billion annually. “There is much room for improvement and growth in the livestock sector,” he added.
According to the ministry, a Nepali eats 12 kg of meat per year on average. In the developing countries, average meat consumption per person is about 14 kg per year. “We are still 2 kg short as per developing country standards,” said GC. The per capita meat consumption was 9.8 kg per year in 2008 and 9.7 kg in 2000.
The country’s meat production currently stands at 318,000 tonnes. 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.
Mutton is the second most popular meat product after buff, making up 20 percent of the country’s meat requirement. Chicken production fulfils 13 percent of the country’s meat requirement.
Likewise, average milk consumption in Nepal currently stands at 70 litres per person per year. The ministry said that based on the requirement of 91.5 litres per person per year, each Nepali still faces a deficit of 21.5 litres of milk.
“As the milk and meat sector have a high rural-urban linkage where urban money is transferred to rural areas, it needs to be given utmost priority for sustainable development,” said GC. “So it’s very important for Nepal to launch research and development programmes like those we are formulating.”