Nepalis are the second most avid meat eaters in South Asia. And during Dashain, they feast like there is no tomorrow.
The Kathmandu Valley alone consumes 40,000 to 45,000 goats during the festival, said traders. This year, they expect to sell between 35,000 to 40,000 animals.
Traders and state-owned entities like Nepal Food Corporation have started bringing in goats from different parts of the country to Kathmandu. A majority of the goats come from Salyan, Surkhet, Kohalpur, Nepalgunj, Ramechhap and Trishuli. NFC plans to sell about 4,000 goats.
“The weekly supply of goats into the valley amounts to 4,000 out of which 2,700-2,800 are imported from India,” said Deepak Thapa, president of the Nepal Livestock Traders Association. He added that 12-13 truckloads of goats arrive in Kathmandu per week during regular times. During Dashain, deliveries jump to 30-40 truckloads.
According to officials, NFC has procured 1,550 goats from Bardia, Nepalgunj, Dang, Hetauda, Lahan and Kavre which are ready for shipment to Kathmandu. “Considering the rate of procurement, we are likely to meet the target of 4,000 goats on time,” said Bijay Dhoj Thapa, deputy general manager of NFC.
He added that the rest of the goats would be procured within a week. Last Dashain, the corporation had only been able to procure 2,754 goats out of its target of 6,000. It plans to start selling the goats from Ghatasthapana. “The price will be fixed on the same day,” Thapa added.
A report of the Food and Agriculture Organization shows that Nepal is the second highest consumer of meat after Pakistan in the South Asia region. The annual per capita consumption of meat in Nepal is 10 kg compared to 12 kg in Pakistan, 6.5 kg in Sri Lanka, 5 kg in India and 3 kg in Bhutan and Bangladesh.
According to government statistics, Nepal imports meat worth Rs. 15 billion annually, making it one of the largest imports after petroleum, gold and motor vehicles. The annual consumption of meat in the country amounts to 248,573 tons, said the Ministry of Agriculture. Buffalo meat is consumed in the highest quantity (65 percent) followed by goats and other livestock (20 percent) and pork (7 percent). (Source : ekantipur)