No subsidies for poultry feeds: MoAF minister

The National Council member of Sarpang Anand Rai

Government recommends poultry feeds be produced in Bhutan

KARMA CHIMMI | Thimphu

There will be no subsidies for poultry feeds. Rather, the government is recommending producing feeds in the country.

This was reiterated by the Minister for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor, during the question-hour session with the National Council on 10 June. 

Lyonpo said this is in order to protect farmers from the fluctuations in feed prices.  He said the government will provide loans and other necessary support for people wanting to produce feed within the country.

The MoAF minister further articulated that the government will not provide subsidies but will work on cost-sharing mechanisms.

The National Council representative of Sarpang, Anand Rai, quizzed the minister about whether it would be possible for the government to provide subsidies for poultry feeds so that farmers are protected from fluctuations in feed price.

The MP said that with the price hike of every commodity and machinery, the price for agriculture and livestock products cannot be expected to be low. “The consumer cannot consume the products and sellers cannot sell,” he opined.

Anand Rai said that if the government can provide subsidies for feeds, the price could be maintained at a reasonable level.

Some of the members asked a few supplementary questions on issues like the government’s plans on providing loans for piggery, cold storage constructions for farmers, and the plans for timely market interventions.

The minister responded that people are availing loans without proper planning for their businesses. Furthermore, he highlighted that there is no coordination and cooperative formulation between various levels.

Regards to the buy-back policy, the minister said that the government has to buy at the lowest price and if the government cannot sell these goods, it’s a loss for the government.

“Therefore, the government initiated an incentive-based scheme where producers can either sell their produce to the government when the products are in good condition or market it themselves,” lyonpo Yeshey said.

The MoAF minister said state-owned entities will provide new and innovative ideas that farmers can learn and adapt to.

On Bhutan Livestock Development Corporation selling and marketing agriculture and livestock products, the minister said that BLDC is no different from individual vendors.