Shoppers snap up subsidised goats at government outletThe price of live goats was fixed at Rs550 per kg, which is Rs100 per kg less than the market price.
Food Management and Trading Company was sold out of goats two days after putting them on sale as they were cheaper by Rs100 per kg than the market.
The state-owned firm's outlet will remain shuttered till 2 pm Wednesday when it expects to receive a fresh shipment of the animals. Goat is the chief item on the menu for many Nepalis during the Dashain festival.
“We didn't think there would be such a rush and our stocks would be sold out in less than two days amid the pandemic,” said Shri Maniraj Khanal, deputy general manager of Food Management and Trading Company.
He said that all 700 goats the company had brought were snapped up because the price was lower than what private sellers were charging. They sold around 550 goats on the very first day and the rest on Tuesday.
The second consignment of 285 animals will be arriving by early Wednesday, and sales will reopen in the afternoon, Khanal told the Post. The company plans to bring 1,600 goats and 1,400 mountain goats for the festival this year. The government company was not able to purchase mountain goats this year because of a short supply and high prices.
“We are trying to increase the goat quota due to a rise in demand, and have asked traders in Hetauda and Tulsipur to increase shipments,” he said.
The government company brings a small shipment of goats and mountain goats every Dashain in a move intended more to intervene in the market and keep prices stable than fulfil demand.
According to Khanal, this is the first time that they were sold out of goats so fast. In the past, goat stocks brought for Dashain would remain unsold till Tihar. Last year, the state-owned company brought 3,019 goats and mountain goats.
The company on Sunday fixed the price of live goats at Rs550 per kg, which is Rs100 per kg less than the market price. The subsidised price led to the company's outlet at Thapathali being besieged by meat lovers. The company orders goats from Hetauda and Tulsipur.
Janak Kumar Khadka, president of the Kalanki Khasi Bazaar, Kalanki, said that people preferred buying goats from the government outlet instead of the bazaar because of the lower price. As a result, the bazaar has been seeing less footfall.
“Customers want to buy goats for the same price as at the government shop, but we cannot go below Rs650 per kg,” he said.
According to Khadka, goat sales at the bazaar amount to more than 2,000 daily. Sales are expected to swell in the coming days as people generally start buying goats a day before Phulpati.
“We expect daily sales to reach more than 10,000 goats from a day before Phulpati,” he said.
But there will be less people on the streets this year due to Covid-19 compared to last year, he said. The goat business will likely shrink this year as fewer family parties are likely to be held because of virus travel advisories, he added.
Kalanki Khasi Bazaar has been receiving around 3,000 goats daily from Saturday. The market used to receive around 6,000 goats during Dashain in previous years.
The Kathmandu Valley devours around 50,000 goats during the Dashain festival and the small supply provided by the government des not fulfil even one-fourth of the requirement.
There will be no shortage of goats in the valley and prices will not decline below Rs650 per kg at the Kalanki Khasi Bazaar, he said.
Similarly, the market is receiving 400-500 mountain goats daily all of which are getting snapped up. According to Khadka, live mountain goats are being sold for Rs930 to Rs980 per kg, up from Rs800 per kg last year.
The Dashain goat business has declined by 60 percent as there are fewer buyers, said Bhanu Bhakta Parajuli, president of the Livestock Traders Service Association. Besides Kalanki, goats and mountain goats are being sold from Khasi Bazaar at Tukucha, Bagbazaar and Khashi Bazaar at Lokanthali, Bhaktapur.
The goats sold in the valley are brought from Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha, Rolpa, Rukum, Mustang, Salyan, Pyuthan, Dhangadhi, Jhapa, Morang, Panchthar, Bara and Khotang districts, among other places.