Money

Strikes and fuel shortage hit dairy farmers hard

- PRATAP BISTA, SHANKAR ACHARYA , HETAUDA/PARSA
The farmers say they are facing cash crunch just ahead of the Dashain and Tihar festivals

Oct 7, 2015-Dairy farmers in Makawanpur have been heavily affected by ongoing Tarai banda, with collection centres not purchasing milk citing lack of transport services to supply dairy products to major markets.

Dil Kumari Humagain, proprietor of Kamdhenu Cow Farm at Aam Bhanjyang VDC, has not been able to sell milk for the last three days. Her farm, which has 17 cows (of which 12 give milk), produces 120 litres milk every day.

Local Chandra Surya Cooperative has stopped purchasing the milk since Thursday. It used to collect around 800 litres of milk every day and deliver it to Hetauda. “How can we collect milk when we cannot deliver it to the market?” asked Gitanath Humagain, manager of the cooperative.

Other cooperatives operating in VDCs like Am Bhanjyang and Makawanpurgadhi too are not collecting milk.

Failing to sell, farmers are feeding the milk to the cows. “We are feeding the surplus milk after domestic consumption to the cows,” said Imanath Timalsina, a farmer from Makawanpur Gadhi, whose farm produces 55 litres of milk every day.

The farmers, already hit hard by skyrocketing prices of animal feeds due shortages as a result of the Tarai strikes, complained they were facing cash crunch just ahead of the festival.

Meanwhile, Indian workers in Nepal have been marred by the India-imposed trade blockade as they are not getting fuel to cook food. Salim Mohamad Ansari and Mahamuddhin Ansari from Raxual, Bihar, who are engaged in making quilt in Hetauda for the last several years, complained they could not cook food due to the lack of cooking gas and kerosene.

“We have gas cylinders and stoves, but we have not had rice for the past seven days due to lack of gas and kerosene,” said Salim. The Indian workers come to Nepal just before the winter season to make and sell quilts.

Likewise, banking operations have been crippled in Birgunj due to the banda. The agitating parties have decided to close down financial institutions. There is a thick presence of banks and financial institutions at Adarsanagar, Birgunj.

Many BFIs have shut down their branches, while most of the ATM machines have run out of cash. Some BFIs are offering services for just two hours a day (10-12am). Banda enforcers have put a notice at the main gates of the financial institutions asking them to shut down their operations.

Published: 07-10-2015 08:43

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment