JHAPA, Aug 8: Despite the ban, unscrupulous traders continue to import chicken and eggs from India. The government had banned chicken import from India four years ago after cases of bird flu were detected in Kakarbhitta of Jhapa.
“Chicken is smuggled into the country under the noses of police personnel," said Hari Parsad Timsina, poultry farmer.
“The customs officials and police personnel feign ignorance even as a huge volume of chicken is smuggled every day,”" added Timsina.
On Monday, poultry farmers of Jhapa staged demonstration decrying the indifference of authorities. They also appealed to the locals to not import chicken from India.
When bird flu cases are detected in bordering Indian towns, Indian traders export Chicken to Nepal at very low prices. This hits the poultry farmers in Nepal. Moreover, unscrupulous traders procure chicken from India to maximize their profits paying little regard to public health.
“Import of chicken in huge volumes makes it difficult for us to sell our product,” said a poultry farmer.
Poultry farmers in India receive subsidies on electricity and fertilizer. However, farmers in Nepal receive no such facility from the government and hence cannot withstand competition from Indian farmers. Indian poultry products rule in roost in places like Kakarbhitta, Dhulabari, Birtamod, Bhadrapur and Chandragadi.
Custom and quarantine officials admitted their failure to check illegal import of chicken from India. “We have not been able to control illegal import of chicken from India,” said a quarantine office staffer.