ARGHAKHANCHI, April 21: Nationwide lockdown has hard-hit the dairy farmers in the district. A chhurpi (traditional Nepali cheese) factory at Sandhikharka municipality-7, Gachchhe Bazaar has shut down owing to low demand and unavailability of transportation services.
Krishna Prasad Chundari, owner of Safal Dairy Factory, said that demand for dairy items, including ghee, butter and milk has dropped significantly low in recent days.
Another Chhurpi factory at Panini rural municipality-4, Patauti Nigali is also on the verge of being shut down. “We shut it down for 15 days and reopened in view of farmer’s growing demand. However, I have to close it again,” Tilak Gaire, manager at the factory said.
According to them, 30 quintals of cheese is in the stock. They also added that the factories can’t be operated until the manufactured products worth Rs 3 million are sold. “During this time of crisis, we can neither sell our products, nor pay the farmers. We can do nothing,” they said.
According to chairman of Arghakhanchi Dairy Cooperatives, Chandra Prasad Banjade, only 3,000 liters of milk is being sold per day during this period, compared to 12,000 liters that used to be supplied to the market during normal times. “We supply milk to Gulmi, Palpa and Kapilvastu during normal times,” Banjade added.
Around 470 to 510 farmers sell milk in the district. Of them, 60 to 70 are commercially running agro farms.
Due to lack of transportation facility, dairy products from remote areas cannot be taken to markets. As dairy factories are being shut down, the famers in the district have to bear a loss of about 200,000 rupees daily.