Despite a huge customer base for meat purchase in the capital, with the slight increase in prices during summer, meat vendors are now facing difficulties with the business.
Yakthukpa meat shop owner, Shahbir Subbha said, “These days, we are selling beef under loss, even if there is a slight increase in the price. There is more competition in the market of meat business. It is good if the Thromde Office can increase the prices as price of meat had been increased in India.”
He usually imports meat from Jaigoan, India and the local meat is imported from Tsirang.
While talking about the quality, he said any consignment that arrives at the shop is inspected by Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA), and if the product is below standard then it is directly dumped.
He also said customers have no option because when there is no local meat, they are bound to consume the imported meat.
D.K meat shop owner Dhan Bhudur said, “Even if there is slight increase in prices, especially during off season like summer, we are selling beef at a substantial loss. “ In summer meat gets spoiled soon,” he added.
He added that these days the meat prices are increased due to increase in the price of the meats in India.
Currently, the price of beef in Thimphu is Nu 165 per kilogram (kg), an increase by Nu 15 from Nu 150 per kg and the price of pork has increased from Nu 125 to Nu 150 per kg. The local chicken costs Nu 200 per kg, a hike from the earlier Nu 175, and fish price has reached Nu 150 per kg, a difference of Nu 20 more from the earlier price.
Makcha meat shop owner, Harka Bhadur is one among the many vendors who said, “We face the serious difficulties in handling the meat shop in summer.”