Dairy industry asks govt to set up research body

- Prahlad Rijal, Kathmandu

May 13, 2016-

The Nepal Dairy Association has asked the Ministry of Livestock Development to establish a National Dairy Research Institute to aid the development of the dairy sector.

It has requested the ministry in the proposal sent last Tuesday to set up the planned institute at Tusal, Kavrepalanchok.

The association said that a research institute would provide the dairy sector a base to impart theoretical and practical knowledge, produce skilled human resources, transfer technology and provide improved breeds of livestock.

“The sector is facing a lack of qualified manpower. We believe that the research centre will help the industry to produce skilled human resources and infrastructure for research and development,” said Sumeet Kedia, chairman of the association. 

According to the association, more than 20,000 Nepalis are employed in the dairy sector which is worth around Rs15 billion. Nepal produces 4.8 million litres of milk daily. Large dairies consume 15 percent of the total output, small dairy producers 35 percent and farmers the rest.

“The country’s milk output has fallen 20 percent,” said Prahlad Dahal, general secretary of the association. “Many farmers lost their livestock during last year’s earthquake. 

Besides, youths engaged in the dairy sector are opting to go abroad as migrant workers due to the low returns.” He added that the dry season, which usually starts in April, has led to a 

decline in production. The association has also demanded that the National Reconstruction Authority incorporate a plan to provide earthquake affected households a cow or buffalo to help rural farmers resume milk production.

“Many farmers in Kavrepalanchok, Sindhupalchok, Dolakha and Dhading suffered losses due to the earthquake. The Tarai unrest also forced farmers to sell their cattle which resulted in a decline in milk production,” said Ishwori Prasad Adhikari, information officer of Dairy Development Corporation (DDC).

There is no shortage of dairy products in the market because DDC has maintained adequate reserves, he said.

However, other producers fear a loss in business due to the decline in the supply of milk. “Our factory is facing difficulties producing ghee and other major products,” said Sumeet Kedia, owner of Sitaram Gokul Milks Kathmandu, the second largest producer of milk products after DDC. “If the situation continues for a month, we will be forced to stop making ghee.”   

Meanwhile, the association has also asked the government in the proposal sent to the ministry to include milk and dairy products in the rations served to Nepal Police and Nepal Army personnel to increase consumption. 

The association has also demanded that the government install dedicated electricity feeders for dairies so that fresh milk can be preserved, provide a discount on electricity bills and impart education about ISO, GMP and HACCP standards to improve the quality of dairy products.

Published: 13-05-2016 08:39

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