KATHMANDU, June 2: The dairy sector of Nepal is currently facing a loss of Rs 100 million daily as a result of a shrunk market due to the enforcement of lockdown.
The dairy market in Nepal has shrunk to 35 percent as its biggest consumers like hotels, restaurants, canteens, schools and party palaces are shut. “We have lost 65 percent of our market and farmers are throwing away milk worth Rs 100 million daily,” said Pralhad Dahal, general secretary of Nepal Dairy Association (NDA), “We also have dairy products worth Rs 5 billion in stock which is on the verge of going to waste.”
NDA on Monday, celebrated the World Milk Day by distributing milk and other dairy products throughout the seven provinces of the country. With the slogan ‘Drink Milk Regularly to Increase Immunity’, the association distributed dairy products to hospitals, old age homes, security personnel, health workers and quarantine facilities. Nepal started celebrating the World Milk Day in 2010. According to NDA, the programs were carried out with the aim of expanding the access to milk and its consumption.
Dairy entrepreneurs had sought relief packages from the government through the budget for fiscal year 2020/21. “The government has mentioned soft loans, exemption on electricity and import of raw materials in the budget which is a positive aspect,” he told Republica Online, “But there are still a few issues that need to be addressed.”
Dairy producers have dairy products worth nearly Rs 5 billion in stock due to lack of demand amid the nationwide lockdown enforced by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19. “Dairy firms across the country have huge amounts of butter, skimmed milk and processed milk in stock,” he said. Many dairy firms have already used up their storage facilities. Dairy entrepreneurs have said that if the products are not sold the items in stock could go waste.
According to the NDA, about 500,000 farmers are associated with the dairy sector, while more than 20,000 people are directly involved in the dairy industry. More than Rs 50 million flows out of the Kathmandu Valley to other parts of the country daily through the ecosystem of the dairy industry which contributes about nine percent to the country’s GDP.