Kathmandu, July 24, 2016:Â Ostrich Nepal, the major supplier of ostrich meat in the Kathmandu Valley, has decided to double daily production from 500 kg to 1,000 kg to keep pace with galloping demand.
â€œThe company has decided to increase production for the upcoming festivals after observing growing demand in the valley during the last festive season,â€ said CP Sharma, managing director of Ostrich Nepal. â€œAs of the present, we supply meat to more than 100 restaurants, and demand from hotels, banquet halls and individuals has increased notably in recent days.â€
Ostrich meat is sold in the valley in frozen packages from more than 50 retail outlets and meat shops. Vendors said that demand had grown quickly in a short span of time.
The red meat of the flightless bird is delicious besides having many health benefits, according to Sharma. â€œThe meat is rich in vitamins, minerals and omega, and benefits the health of people with heart conditions and diabetes.â€ Ostrich meat is sold in half and one kilogram frozen packages and is available in three kindsâ€”with bone, boneless and tenderloin-fillet.
Meat with bone costs Rs1,100 per kg while boneless meat is priced at Rs1,700 per kg. Likewise, tenderloin-fillet costs Rs2,500 per kg. The reason behind the hefty price tag is that only 1 kg can be produced from a single ostrich.
Studies show that ostrich meat contains low levels of fat, calories and cholesterol but is extremely rich in protein and iron when compared to white-meat chicken.
However, some local vendors said that the growth in the ostrich meat segment has been below expectations. â€œThe overall market is experiencing good growth, but the supply has been low,â€ said Balaram Khadgi, owner of Ikalu Meat Centre.
â€œConsumers are yet to fully acknowledge the benefits, and the segment is yet to experience substantial growth.â€ According to Khadgi, sales are likely to increase during the upcoming festivals this year. More than 1,000 local farmers have benefitted from ostrich farming in the Tarai as they supply fodder and feed for the birds, said company officials. Ostrich Nepal company produces ostrich meat in Rupandehi.
The company aims to export meat worth Rs5 billion and leather, fat and feathers worth Rs2.5 billion to the international market till 2020.