Thimphu Re­tail­ers vol­un­teer to make egg af­ford­able to con­sumer

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Ugyen Cho­den

The an­nual egg pro­duc­tion in the coun­try in­creased from 22 mil­lion eggs in 2010 to 57 mil­lion eggs in 2012 mak­ing the coun­try egg self-suf­fi­cient in Bhutan. Yet the egg price in the coun­try has not gone down from Nu.300/tray in most of the big towns in the coun­try. The Pres­i­dent and the Founder of Youth Business Co­op­er­a­tive says “the egg price can be brought down with­out com­pro­mis­ing the profit mar­gin for the farm­ers” He told us that the profit mar­gin kept by the peo­ple till egg reaches from a pro­ducer to end con­sumer must be made rea­son­able.

If ini­tia­tives are not taken im­me­di­ately, lo­cal egg will be­come very ex­pen­sive and soon we might have to im­port eggs from In­dia. Th­ese con­se­quences will lead to clo­sure of about 2100 poul­try farms across the coun­try and lead to mil­lions of INR out­flow from the coun­try.

We found out that egg can be cheaper to im­port, but egg is also the only com­mod­ity which Bhutan is proud about its self-suf­fi­ciency. Many feel that we must support do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion to be self re­liant.

Youth Business Co­op­er­a­tive (YBC) is work­ing on bring­ing down the egg price to en­hance egg pro­duc­tion by pro­vid­ing con­tin­u­ous in­come to farm­ers and rea­son­able egg price for gen­eral con­sumer.

At a meet­ing be­tween YBC and Sarpang Layer Co­op­er­a­tive held re­cently in Sarpang, the egg pro­duc­ers and YBC de­cided to bring down the egg price to help ev­ery­one in the egg value chain ben­e­fit egg pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing sys­tem.

Eggs will once again be­come af­ford­able with the YBC bring­ing down the price of egg after the sign­ing of agree­ment with the re­tail­ers who will sell eggs at a con­trolled price.

“YBC chair­man Yeshey said, un­less the cost of egg is brought down, most of the con­sumers, es­pe­cially the low in­come con­sumers, might have to worry of not get­ting eggs, and this is what YBC will not let hap­pen”.

Shops in Thimphu charge about 300 per tray, which has now come down to Nu 260/ tray with YBC in­ter­ven­tion. The YBC Gen­eral Man­ager Rinzin Norbu, says that egg is an es­sen­tial food com­mod­ity and there­fore equal dis­tri­bu­tion will be made for ev­ery con­sumer by pro­vid­ing max­i­mum limit of eggs for each fam­ily.” He said that “The prob­lem is not the non avail­abil­ity of egg but it is the peo­ple who buy in bulk at lower price from YBC and sells at very high price to con­sumers.”

The YBC has plans to help poul­try farm­ers by sup­ply­ing egg trays and egg cartoons at cheaper price to bring down the egg price.

Vol­un­tary Egg Re­tail­ers of Thimphu on Oc­to­ber ---- signed an agree­ment with YBC to sell eggs at af­ford­able price fixed by YBC to help gen­eral con­sumer. It was found out that any shop can be­come a YBC egg re­tailer but should agree on the price.

The Project Man­ager Kin­ley Phurba said “to en­sure con­ti­nu­ity of egg sup­ply and bring af­ford­able price to con­sumer, YBC is plan­ning to setup two com­mer­cial layer farms with 10,000 birds ca­pac­ity un­der BOIC fund support”

The Chair­man of YBC say “The Hon’ble Min­is­ter Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Forests has shown keen in­ter­est in stream­lin­ing the egg mar­ket­ing to bring down the cost” we are re­ceiv­ing support from Depart­ment of Live­stock, BAFRA and DAMC un­der MoAF for this ac­tiv­ity.

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