Farmers demand increase in milk prices

Published On: August 10, 2019 07:24 AM NPT By: Republica

KATHMANDU, Aug 10: Central Dairy Cooperative Association Ltd Nepal (CDCAN) has warned of launching protest if the government did not raise the price of raw milk for farmers.

The association, which represents 1,872 dairy cooperatives across the country with involvement of over 400,000 farmers, has demanded a hike of the price of the raw milk by at least Rs 10 per liter. They have stated that their cost of production has gone up significantly in recent years.
Issuing a statement, the association has warned that it will launch protests if its demand to raise the price of milk is not met by mid-August.

Currently, farmers receive Rs 48 per liter for raw milk, while consumers pay nearly Rs 70 rupees per liter for cow milk.

“It has been more than three years that the price of milk for farmers has not been increased. However, the price of cow, cattle feed, and other raw materials has gone up significantly,” Narayan Prasad Devkota, president of CDCAN, told Republica.

“Farmers cannot supply milk at the same price fixed some three years ago. If it is not increased, they are going to be displaced from their occupation soon. The price should be raised immediately,” said Devkota, adding that the cost for farmers have gone up so high that farmers cannot sell milks in the same price anymore.

National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) recommends the minimum price of raw milk for farmers and the Ministry for Agriculture and Livestock Development implements the minimum price.

The association has already drawn the attention of Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Chakrapani Khanal to meet their demand of raising the price of raw milk for farmers.

“Farmers cannot charge more than the set price. However, it has not been revised for last three years when the inflation has gone up as well as the wages of farm workers. How can farmers sustain their business if the price is not raised?” asked Devkota, vowing to launch strong protests if the price was not raised by mid-August.

The association has also announced the protest programs if their demand was not met. The association plans to picket the DDC office between August 21 and August 23 in the first phase.

According to Devkota, the association will then launch stern protests in the second phase if the corporation did not raise the price.
Meanwhile, Minister Khanal has instructed the NDDB to prepare a policy to set the price of milk for farmers.

“There was a meeting at the ministry today and the minister has instructed the board to draft a policy on setting the price. We will work on this regard,” said Amogh Kafle, information officer at the board.

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