Goat supply to come downSupply of goats in the Capital for the upcoming Dashain festival has steadily gone down due to the protracted unrest in the Tarai region and the fuel crisis caused by India’s unofficial trade embargo.
Supply of goats in the Capital for the upcoming Dashain festival has steadily gone down due to the protracted unrest in the Tarai region and the fuel crisis caused by India’s unofficial trade embargo.
Sacrificing goat is an integral part of Dashain celebrations, a ten-day festival that begins in a week.
Spokesperson at the state owned Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) Shree Mani Raj Khanal stated that they will not be able to supply adequate number of goats to the Valley in time for the festival. “Around 45,000 goats are usually needed during Dashain. However, we will only be able to supply half the number due to the unrest in Tarai.” The Tarai belt and India are two major suppliers of goats.
As respite, he said that the NFC is all set to bring around a thousand changras from Mustang to Kathmandu for the festival. “We are managing fuel to transport them from Mustang.
It is easier to bring in changras from there since we do not have any hassles on the way,” said Khanal . NFC officials also said they will be importing goats from easily accessible districts such as Dhading, Kavre and Bhaktapur.
That supply would however not even meet a third of the demand in the Valley.
Sacrificing goat to goddess Durga and enjoying a variety of meat items with family members and friends are major parts of Dashain festival.
Moreover, with this short supply of goats, its prices are likely to escalate. A live goat generally costs around Rs420-450 per kg. But this time around, traders say, it may cost over Rs600 per kg.
As the nation continues to suffer from shortage of basic daily food items as well, Khanal requested Valley citizens to opt for an alternate choice of meat this Dashain. “Since goat meat is nevertheless a luxury, we kindly urge people to go for an alternative,” said Khanal.
This time of the year, popular goat trading areas such as the Khasi bazaars in Kalanki, Bajbazaar, Bijulibazaar and Balaju Bypass would generally be abuzz with customers. However, with less than a week to go for the most cherished festival of the country, these areas wear a deserted look.
Jeevan Khatiwoda, coordinator at Kathmandu Chupaya Kharidbikri Pvt in Kalanki, predicts severe losses due to the shortage of goat supply this year. “Our business has gone down. Hotels and restaurants where goat meat would be supplied are already closed anyway. And people in the Valley are more concerned about basic needs such as food, cooking oil, rice and vegetables.”