Sunday, 5 December, 2021
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Milk collection tumbles 35%



milk-collection-tumbles-35

By Laxman Kafle
Kathmandu, May 9: As the sales of milk has plummeted due to the prohibitory order imposed in major cities of the country, including the Kathmandu Valley, dairy farmers have become worried.
The milk collection has dropped by around 35 per cent across the country due to the prohibitory order as the demand for milk has decreased significantly especially in Kathmandu Valley and other cities, said Dr. Rajendra Prasad Yadav, executive director of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).
At present, the private dairy associations and state-owned Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) have been collecting only 65 per cent of what they used to collect before the prohibitory order came into force, he said.
“Now, around 650,000 litres of milk is being collected on daily basis from the farmers across the country against the normal collection of 1,000,000 litres from the formal sector. Farmers are facing a loss of Rs. 20 million daily because of the drop in milk collection,” he told The Rising Nepal.
The demand for milk has significantly decreased in Kathmandu Valley which forced the drop in milk collection from the farmers. The demand for milk and milk-related products has decreased by 50 per cent only in Kathmandu Valley to 300,000 litres due to the prohibitory order.
Yadav said that the board meeting of the NDDB has decided to provide incentives to farmers who faced losses after reduced collection. “We have decided and proposed to the government for providing incentives based on their losses,” he said.
Stating that this is an abnormal time and it has adversely affected the collection and sales of milk, he said that local governments can use milk in quarantine for COVID-19 infected persons to enhance their immunity against COVID-19.
He also asked the farmers to use unsold milk to make ghee and other products and sell them to the market in normal times.
Raj Kumar Dahal, President of Dairy Industry Association (DIA), said that milk collection through the formal sector had decreased by around 40 per cent caused by the lockdown. The collection of milk stood at 17 per cent from the formal sector and 33 per cent from the informal sector.
About 50 per cent milk of the total production is consumed by the farmers in Nepal.
“We are collecting milk from the farmers as per the sales in the market. The dairies are not in a position to collect all available milk from farmers due to reduction in its demand” he said.
He said that drop in milk collection was natural as the demand for milk in urban areas including Kathmandu has decreased following closure of hotels and restaurants and other party venues due to the lockdown.
“The collection of milk drops mainly due to the decreased demand not due to the problem of supply. There is no obstruction for the supply of milk at present,” he said.
The Dairy Development Corporation (DDC), the state-owned milk supplier, is continuously collecting milk in its full capacity during the lockdown.
The DDC is collecting about 110,000 litres daily across the country. “We increased the milk collection during the lockdown to support the farmers after the private dairies are unable to collect milk in full-fledge,” said Sanjeev Jha, head of planning and market management department of DDC.
The milk collection of DDC was 90,000 litres before lockdown, he said. He, however, said that milk sale of DDC has dropped by 15 per cent to 75,000 litres in Kathmandu Valley after the prohibitory order is imposed.
“We are unable to collect milk available in the market due to limited capacity and reduced market,” he said. Due to reduced market of DDC from last year’s lockdown, the stock of butter and powder milk increased which created financial crisis for the DDC, Jha said.
The butter and powder milk worth Rs. 1 billion is in stock at present, he said.