Following the highest ever hike in the price of eggs in the market, the Department of Agriculture and Marketing Cooperatives (DAMC), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests has intervened to curb the rising price of the eggs.
DAMC is also seeing to it that there is no shortage of eggs in the market. Before the intervention by the ministry, the egg price hike had discouraged the vendors from doing egg business and at one time eggs were not available for sale in the market.
As an added measure, the Food Corporation of Bhutan (FCB) will make a tray of eggs available at Nu 235 from next week.
The ministry said this is being done to help set the egg price at a reasonable rate. According to the Director of DAMC, Dorji Dhradhul, the hike in egg price has happened
when the whole sellers take an unreasonably profit margin and a few private sellers had hoarded the eggs which resulted in supply shortage.
He said that the Tsirang Poultry Cooperative is responsible for monitoring the supply of eggs, but before three weeks of encountering hike in eggs price in the market, a few private sellers had obtained eggs directly from the farms at a cheaper price by providing egg trays and boxes to the farms in return.
In order to avoid such problems in future and also to stabilize the current egg price in the market the Tsirang Poultry Cooperative through DAMC sold 27 boxes of eggs at Nu 260 per tray of eggs.
He said that the price will further reduced to Nu 235 per tray as the Food Corporation of Bhutan will be intervening from the coming week, as instructed by the ministry, for a period of one month in the best interest of the public.
The Assistant Marketing Officer with DAMC, Arati Subba, said such intervention by DAMC was seen crucial as the price continued to hike and public experienced difficulties in getting eggs at an affordable price.
She added that the recent hike in the egg price alarmed the public and such intervention by the DAMC is intended to stabilize the egg price in the market.
A Tsirang Poultry Cooperative member, Sancha Maya Tamang, represented the cooperative in making eggs available in Thimphu market during the egg price hike. The cooperative has gathered 27 boxes of eggs from the commercial poultry farms in Tsirang.
According to Sancha Maya Tamang, the eggs were sold out at Nu 260 per tray within a few days and this she said is due to higher egg price charged at different places.
“There was a mad rush in buying eggs from the auction yard,” she said.
Adding that the eggs were cheaper and the cooperative had a profit of only Nu 18 from a tray of eggs.
The increase in egg price followed after eight poultry farms in Drupchugang Gewog, another two farms in Tsholingkhar and Gorsaling, Drupchugang, Pemathang and Zomlingzor saw an increasing mortality rate in birds.
An outbreak of Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) occurred in two semi-commercial farms in Chokhorling and Dekiling village in Sarpang on July 20 where 95 birds died.
A similar disease outbreak also occurred in two semi-commercial farms in Khirithang & Drangraygang villages under Dunglagang Gewog in Tsirang on July 21where a total of 54 birds were reported to have died.
The poultry sector is almost 100% self-sufficient in eggs and chicken production with an annual contribution to GDP estimated at Nu 224mn.