Choki Wangmo | Sarpang

Most poultry farmers in Sarpang are on the verge of closing as feed prices continue to increase and the price of eggs decrease.

At the Sarpang Dzongkhag Tshogdu yesterday, local government (LG) leaders raised the issue of egg price and marketing challenges.

Shompangkha gup, Suk Dorji Yonjan, said that although egg production increased, low egg price was a disincentive to the farmers.

“Most of the poultry farms are closing as the farmers cannot repay loans,” he said.

According to the gewog mangmi, Ashman Rai, about nine poultry farmers have decided to close their farms.

Dekiling mangmi, Leki Gyeltshen, said that it was difficult for the farmers to reduce the price of local eggs due to increasing feed prices.

Most of the poultry farms are in Shompangkha and Dekiling gewogs.

Deputy chief dzongkhag livestock officer, Dorji Wangchuk, said that egg production was very high in the district and that the marketing challenges were resolved.

“A tray of egg now costs between Nu 230-350, which is not less than Nu 1,700 for a carton of egg. The price hasn’t decreased,” he said.

Sarpang produces 61,500 eggs per day.

The prices of imported feeds reportedly increased five times a month.

Gakiling gup, Nim Dorji Sherpa, said that such challenges require coordination among farmers and agencies. “The policies should be aligned with the ground realities. There is a need for proper research to establish marketing linkages.”

Senior marketing officer of the Regional Agriculture and Marketing Cooperative (RAMCO), Dawa Dakpa, said that the marketing challenges would be there because of rising supply and falling demand.

He said that RAMCO explored export market in Guwahati, India but there were no takers for Bhutanese eggs as it costs Nu 9 per egg compared with India’s Nu 6 per egg.

“We cannot reduce the price as the cost of production is high,” he said.

Poultry farmers are currently linked with schools to address marketing challenges. Each week, 100 cartons of eggs are supplied to each school in the district.

There are 147 poultry farms in the dzongkhag.