Dairy cooperatives oppose FDI in milk production and processing

Published On: March 11, 2019 03:00 AM NPT By: Republica

KATHMANDU, March 11: The association of dairy cooperatives has opposed the government's plan of allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in milk production and processing.

Domestic dairy producers have been expressing concerns over big foreign investments driving them out of market, in the wake of the tabling of the bill to amend Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act in the parliament.

The bill has omitted provisions to protect the country's primary farming sector.

Primary farming sector is in the negative list of FDI in the existing laws but the bill has omitted the provision and inserted only the poultry sector in the negative list.

Central Dairy Cooperative Association Nepal, which comprises of dairy cooperatives across the country that collect milk from farmers, objected to the bill by issuing a press release on Sunday.

"It's a mere daydream to make the country's economy self-reliant by bringing foreign capital in the dairy sector, and by importing cows," said the statement signed by Narayan Prasad Devkota, chair of the association.

The association has its members in 63 districts that operate 687 chilling centers and 25 milk processing factories across the country, providing employment to approximately 10,000 people.

Nepali dairy industrialists have been objecting to the bill stating that it would harm the country's attempt of becoming self-reliant in dairy products. They have been urging the government not to open gates for FDI in the dairy sector as it would discourage domestic industries.

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