milk shortage in nepal dairynews7x7

Nepali dairy industries have requested the government to lift the restriction on imports of skimmed milk powder or full cream milk powder to avert possible shortages in the domestic market.

Prahlad Dahal, president of the Nepal Dairy Association, said the state-owned Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) and privately-owned Nepal Dairy Association and Dairy Industry Association have written to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development to lift the ban on imports of skimmed milk powder.

In 2017, Nepal imported milk worth $18.7 million.

Nepal imposed import restrictions on skimmed milk powder in 2018 after imports started to balloon. It was briefly lifted in 2019.

But in April that year, farmers objected to the re-opening of imports saying that they could not sell their milk. The government quickly placed a total ban on the import of skimmed milk powder from India.

Rajendra Prasad Yadav, executive director at the National Dairy Development Board, told the Post that three different organisations have requested the board to facilitate them, by allowing the imports as a temporary arrangement.

“The dairy associations have cited reasons such as Covid-19 and the prevalence of lumpy skin disease among the animals as the reasons behind the drop in milk output,” said Yadav. “We are holding a discussion on Wednesday to know the details. We will also discuss possible steps to address the issues and prevent a crisis.”

Dahal said they have been raising the issues for the past four months.

According to the report of Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness, the consumption requirement for milk in Nepal is 92 litres per person annually, and the country produces 72 litres per person, fulfilling 80 percent of its requirements.

It is estimated that the average current deficit is around 550,000 litres of fluid milk per day with 10–20 percent variability during the lean season (March-July) and the flush season (August-February), the report said.

Source : Kathmandu Post April 18th 2023

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