Egg prices hit an all-time high with high mortality in farms

The price of eggs has shot up for the third time in this month alone. The sharp increase in the price is due to the recent high mortality case of poultry in Tsirang commercial farms and the hike in fuel price.

Last week, a tray of eggs was sold at Nu 290, which is Nu 9 per egg at the wholesale market rate. The price later increased to Nu 300 per tray within few days from the first hike. The price further increased to Nu 390 per tray from July 23, which is Nu 11 per egg.

A box of eggs, which contains seven trays of eggs, was costing Nu 1,400 early this month and has now increased Nu 2,000 per box from July 23.

One of the leading wholesale traders in the town,Tshering, said that eggs were available at Nu 6.50 per piece in wholesale market in the last few months. “But within a month, the prices have seen a stupendous hike, jumping to a level of Nu 13 on July 23,” he said.

According to another wholesaler,Pem Dechen, the hike in egg prices is demand driven. “Normally, the demand for eggs increases by manifold when the production at the farm decreases and prices also see a similar jump,” she said. Apart from this, a steep rise in transportation cost and input cost of poultry farms has also inflated the prices she added.

She also said that the markets might witness further hike in prices in coming days if the relevant agencies do not intervene to control the prices.

Meanwhile, one of the retail shops near Centenary Farmers’ Market said that the prices are highly volatile in the wholesale market, therefore, creating a huge loss to the retailers who sell at a very minimum price.

The increase in the egg price resulted after eight poultry farms in Drupchugang Geog, another two farms in Tsholingkhar and Gorsaling , Drupchugang, Pemathang and Zomlingzor were affected by a disease outbreak that killed the birds last month. There have been more cases of Infectious Brusal Disease (IBD) outbreak occurring in two semi-commercial farms in Chokhorling and Dekiling village in Sarpang on July 20 where 95 birds have died.

A similar disease outbreak also occurred in two semi -commercial farms in Khirithang & Drangraygang villages under Dunglagang Geog in Tsirang on July 2, where a total of 54 birds are reported to have died.

Accordingly, the Dzongkhag Veterinary Hospital (DVH), Tsirang have put in some control measures in place. The poultry cooperative members also blame the recent fuel hike as an additional problem as the cooperative do not own transportation vehicles and the cost of hiring the vehicles to shift eggs from the source has become more expensive now.

The poultry sector has, so far, achieved almost 100% self-sufficiency in eggs and chicken production in almost in 20 dzongkhags with annual contribution to GDP from the poultry sector estimated at Nu 224mn. Tsirang contributes the highest supply of eggs to the nation, towards the goal of achieving egg self-sufficiency.

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