Published On: July 13, 2017 12:11 PM NPT By: Bhim Chapagain

Ilam’s dairy products thriving as gift items

Ilam’s dairy products thriving as gift items

ILAM: Everybody likes presents, and looks forward to buying locally made products to take back as souvenirs while traveling.

If anyone is traveling to Ilam, the first thing they think about is to buy locally produced tea for souvenir. However, it's not only tea that is famous among domestic as well as international tourists who visit Ilam. Locally made dairy items such as lollipops, cheese and bambaisan are the new preferred souvenirs among Ilam visitors.

The locally made lollipops are available at Rs 30 to Rs 100 per pack. Chandra Rai, a businessman who sells lollipops at Ilam Municipality- 6, Chureghati, shared, “I have been manufacturing and selling lollipops in Ilam for 10 years now. With its growing popularity, I am having a hard time to meet the demand.”

According to the District Livestock Services Office, Ilam, as much as 25,000 Kilograms of lollipops are produced every year and the demand is ever soaring. To make these sweet treats, first the milk is boiled till it turns into a thick semi-liquid state, called kurauni or khuwa. Then, sugar is mixed until it turns brown. The final step is to cool it down before wrapping it up in different sized plastic wrappers.  

Likewise, bambaisan is another sweet treat produced locally with similar ingredients, but is in greater size. According to Chandra, bambaisan is available only in Ilam for Rs 20 to Rs 100 per pack. Babukaji Tamrakar, a businessman at Chowk Bazaar of Ilam, said, “bambaisan and lollipops can be consumed within 60 days of manufacture.”

Moreover, Ilam is also popular for its churpi and cheese. The churpi manufactured here are exported to the US. According to the District Livestock Services Office, as much as 300,000 Kilograms of churpi is manufactured in Ilam every year. churpi is also a dairy product that is manufactured with processed milk. There are two varieties of churpi—for people and for dogs. They are available at Rs 900 per Kilogram.

churpis for dogs are also exported to the US and they are fat free. Moreover, churpi is made with pure milk and has health benefits. It is also definitely one of the most popular souvenirs to take away from Ilam.

Similarly, there are more than a dozen private and government factories that manufacture cheese in Ilam. The locally made cheese is sold to big cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara. However, the cheese is not easily available at Ilam stores. You have to reach the factory to buy the cheese because it is difficult to store. Cheese made here is available at Rs 600 per Kilogram.

According to the District Livestock Services Office, more than 600,000 Kilograms of cheese is produced in Ilam every year and most of it is exported to other districts. There are seven government cheese centers in Ilam.

Ilam is among a few districts in Nepal where milk is produced in large quantity, and has a proper market for dairy products. Talking about the future of dairy products’ business in Ilam, a farmer from Fikkal, Dinesh Mahat expressed, “You can have a secure future with dairy business in Ilam if you can maintain the quality and quantity of lollipops, Bambasain and cheese to meet the demand.”

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