BANEPA, June 2: Panauti Municipality has geared up to maintain hygiene and quality of milk and dairy products intact via ‘good milk production practices’, engaging all stakeholders in the dairy value chain.
The municipality aims to make the different stakeholders—farmers, collectors, freezing centers, processing unit, storage facilities, transportation facilities, and the trading channel—more skilled and active in their respective areas of work.
“Milk production is rising as a business in more than half of the wards of the municipality, owing to genetic protection of buffaloes. Seeing their success, other wards are also engaging in producing cow milk.” Gunanath Sapkota, coordinator of agriculture committee and chairman of Ward 9, said. “We are focused on transporting the milk produced at 12 different wards to the freezing center in the fastest way possible.”
Insulated tanks made of stainless steel have been distributed to some collectors in a quest to avoid complaints about degradation of milk quality during the transportation, according to Sapkota. “We shall provide similar tanks to all the collectors next year as an evidence of effectiveness of the plan.”
Considered primary in the dairy value chain, farmers have been targeted for grants and facilities as an encouragement to actively involve them in the good milk production practice, said veterinary doctor Maniprasad Sapkota.
“Farmers from all the 12 wards are provided with grants toward machineries, fodder, nursery, and shed maintenance among others,” Sapkota said. “These facilities have encouraged them to engage more actively in quality milk production.”
Acknowledging the municipality’s first recognition and celebration of World Milk Day on June 1, Dr Mogal Prasad Shah, head of Veterinary Hospital and Animal Help Center, said that the local level units needed to actively work toward sustainability of the efforts to make the district self-reliant on dairy.
“Presence of veterinary technical services has been ensured in each level; two technicians have been trained for animal insurance. Because they’re capable of assisting in even emergency pregnancies of the animals, milk production is sure to increase,” Shah said, adding that there would soon be availability of veterinary ambulances with the help of provincial ministry, aimed to help the needy.
Cows and buffaloes have the major role in producing quality milk, and several programs toward their health, species improvement, and fodder management have been introduced, according to Indra Prasad Adhikari, senior administrative officer of the municipality.
He said: “It’s through these very programs that we aim to encourage farmers towards good milk production practices.”
He also hinted at introducing branding programs for Panauti’s dairy products beginning the next year. Beginning March 19, an index to measure purity and quality of milk and dairy products has been introduced in the municipality, according to Shiva Prasad Bhandari, food research officer at Food Technology and Quality Control, Division Office Dhulikhel. “Anyone in the value chain who compromises with the quality of milk, would be legally challenged,” he said.
“With the help of the department, we have managed to orient and involve all the stakeholders in good milk production practices. We are now in the process of regular supervision, and we expect the municipality to help us with the process,” Bhandari added.