BANEPA, June 19: Hatchery operators have reduced price of one-day old Cobb 500 broiler chicks to Rs 70 per unit.
Kathmandu-based hatcheries were charging Cobb 500 broiler chicks Rs 90 per unit until last week.
Local farmers allege that hatcheries are keeping huge profit margin. They should have reduced the price to Rs 60 per unit, they added.
Balaram Kisi, the secretary of Nepal Hatchery Industries Association, said they should have lowered the price earlier. “We had to lower the price two weeks ago. But we couldn't take decision in this direction because of various reasons,” he said, adding that the association could lower price of chicks very soon after studying the demand and supply situation.
Hatcheries in Chitwan are selling broiler chicks at Rs 60-65 per unit. As farmers in Kathmandu Valley are yet to begin commercial poultry farming in an organized manner, price of feed and chicks is expensive in Kathmandu and surrounding areas.
“Officials of the association themselves are operating dealers and cold stores. There is no one who speaks in favor of farmers,” Raju Lama, a farmer of Dhulikhel, told Republica.
According to Kisi, Nepal has the capacity to produce 3 million Cobb 500 broiler chicks every week. “Looking at the import of parent stock, we should have produced around 3 million Cobb 500 broiler chicks per week. But we are producing only around 2.4 million chicks,” he said, adding: “The recent reduction in price has nothing to do with production of chicks.”
Even though Hubbard and Ross chicks can be produced in Nepal, most of the farmers prefer Cobb 500 which has the lowest feed conversion, best growth and an ability to thrive on low density.