Santosh Subedi, Republica Daily, 24 June 2017
The country is seeing the shortage of fresh milk due to lack of grants for farmers and dairy producers, according to dairy stakeholders.
They also said production of milk is decreasing as modern technology has gone out of reach of dairy farmers and producers due to lack of grants and incentives. The country is seeing a deficit of 200,000 liters of milk every day, the stakeholders added.
Farmers say that milk production started falling after 2015 earthquakes and Indian blockade. As a result, dairy producers are using powdered milk in large quantity.
Speaking on the sidelines of Good Management Practice and Industrial Management Training organized jointly by the Directorate of Livestock Market Promotion and Nepal Dairy Association in Pokhara, Sumit Kedia, president of the Association, said skilled manpower was a key to the development of the dairy industry.
The training, which will conclude on June 24, is expected to benefit over dairy entrepreneurs.
Farmers of Province No. 4 alone produce 125,000 liters milk per day. Data shows more than 600 people are employed in 25 dairy industries. Over Rs 1 billion has been invested in the dairy industry in the province.
Kedia said that the government is making very low investment in the dairy sector. “The government is neglecting the sector which has been making the significant contribution to national economy,” he added. “The government, farmers, industrialists, government and non-government bodies should work in coordination to develop the dairy sector.”
According to Kedia, 450,000 farmers are involved in the dairy sector that provides direct employment to around 20,000 people. He further added that private sector has invested Rs 15 billion in the sector.
Nepal produces 4.8 million liters of milk daily and 50 percent of the production is consumed by producers themselves, according to the association. Hotels and restaurants consume 35 percent and remaining 15 percent is distributed as packaged milk in the market
Though the government has determined milk's price as Rs 68 per liter, consumers have been paying up to Rs 120 per liter. Milk production cost hovers around Rs 50 per liter.
Kailash Prasad Dhungel, the executive director of National Dairy Development Board, said the board has studied the case of overcharging of consumers by dairy producers and submitted the report to the government.