Heifer Partners with Nepal Government for Abattoir Development Using 4P Model
At a recent event in Kathmandu, the long awaited and much anticipated memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of five modern abattoirs was signed between Heifer Nepal and five local governments, including Pokhara, Biratnagar and Bharatpur metropolitan cities, and Butwal sub-metropolitan city and Kohalpur municipality.
Developed under the Public-Private-Producer-Partnership (4P) Model, the public sector will be investing in the establishment of the abattoir infrastructure as a part of its social responsibility of ensuring the availability of hygienic meat for consumers. The farmers/producers and the meat entrepreneurs will form investment companies and establish a private company with the maximum share ownership by the investment companies of the producers. The private companies will manage and run the abattoirs. As of now, the provincial governments have allocated $3 million USD while the producers and meat entrepreneurs' investment companies have committed $2 million USD.
Representative from several areas attended the event, including federal, provincial and local government, donors; INGOs; banks and financial institutions; the private sector; a consumer forum; producer cooperatives; the media; and Heifer.
Heifer Nepal’s Country Director Dr. Shubh Mahato welcomed all the participants in the event. He highlighted that Heifer’s facilitation role has resulted in the successful partnership between three important sectors – public, private and producers for urgently needed abattoir development.
Director of Programs Dr. Tirtha Regmi gave a presentation on the current meat handling practice in Nepal and the working modality of the abattoir. He mentioned that abattoir construction is not only meant for the consumption of healthy meat but also a major factor toward changing consumer behavior and making this sector a reputable one for the future generation, as well as creating employment opportunities. The question and answer session raised important issues, such as risk reduction, the profitability of the abattoir, and the behavior and attitude change among consumers to consume meat scientifically slaughtered in an abattoir.
The honorable Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Mr. Chakrapani Khanal said, “We need to learn from our mistakes and errors of the past and then plan this next step for the establishment of the abattoir.” He stressed the importance of agriculture and livestock sector as a great opportunity for employment generation and thus gave his commitment in the availability of funds for the planned abattoir. He urged the other partners to maximize their production and find linkages to the market.
Ms. Goma Devi Acharya , deputy mayor of Butwal Sub-Metropolitan city, recalled the early days when the initial plan of abattoir development failed due to a lack of technical knowledge.“Before the beginning of festive season, we will have called for tender of the construction," She said. “It is because of Heifer that we have taken the 4P module route and are hopeful everyone will come together for their benefit.”
Mayor of Biratnagar Metropolitan City Mr. Bhim Parajuli talked about the slaughter house visit in Delhi and hoped that with equipped with new knowledge, the abattoir will be a success and that the consumers are finally able to get access to hygienic meat and meat products.
Mr. Lut Bdr. Raut, Mayor of Kohalpur Municipality talked about the current meat handling practice in his constituency, which is no different from other places of Nepal. He also spoke of his troubles to find an appropriate location for it construction.
Senior Vice President of Programs for Heifer International Dr. Mahendra Lohani said, “For the past 40 years I have been involved in the sector of livestock and seeing the enthusiasm of the local government, farmers and meat entrepreneurs, today I feel very excited.” Dr. Lohani shared his experience when we was in field in early days and said, “Success is only possible if the members of this partnership agree that they add value to each other.” He also talked about the various partnerships and the successes in various developing countries, and hoped to increase the partnership with the Government of Nepal by utilizing Heifer’s expertise in the field.
Ms. Aarti Paudel talked about how Province 5 is excited to build this abattoir and how it is not merely for the availability of fresh and hygienic meat, but also a means of uplifting the socioeconomic status of small-scale farmers in Nepal. She praised Heifer for the groundbreaking work it has done in creating and strengthening social capital in Nepal rural areas.
Finally, the Director General of Department of Livestock Services, Dr. Banshi Sharma talked about the condition of Nepalese meat food products and the present condition of slaughtering in the country. He mentioned how Heifer and the ministry have been working as partners for a long time and hopes they will continue.
By being the catalyst to partnership such as this one, Heifer Nepal hopes to bridge the gap between various actors beginning from farmers to the consumers. This partnership brings ownership and reduces the risks associated with the construction and operation of establishments such as the abattoir. Along with that it hopes to bring a sustainable behavior change in the consumption pattern of the consumers and bring better economic and empowerment opportunities for the small-scale farmers of Nepal.