Milk shortage hits nation «

Milk shortage hits nation

Milk shortage has taken a toll all over the nation as the dairy industries have cut down their production by 30 percent. The ongoing lean months and the halt in imports of Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) from India have resulted in the shortage of milk in the industry, according to the diary producers.
Anmol Dairy in Panauti has closed due to shortage of milk, and Nova Dairy of Bhaktapur could not provide milk to the market either, according to the director of Country Food Pvt Ltd Deepak Khadka. Country Food Pvt Ltd is the producer of Nova Dairy. Nova Dairy has the ability of producing 24,000 liters of milk per day, however it is producing 6000 liters daily only.
Private dairy industries, which have an investment of about Rs 3 billion , have demanded that the government should help ease the supply of milk. According to the president of Nepal Dairy Association Radha Krishna Sapkota, milk supply is decreasing by 30 to 40 percent at present while powdered milk is also not available either.
Eight months ago, the Ministry of Agriculture had formally banned SMP imports for a short time, with the hopes of promoting the domestic milk sector. Agriculture Minister Chakramani Khanal, who had imposed the ban, has refused to lift the ban on imports of SMP but has permitted to import liquid milk to from Patna Dairy in India.
The ongoing milk shortage has affected the valley along with cities including Pokhara, Chitwan and Butwal. The SMP import ban should be lifted for a while as growing demands is likely to give rise to black markets and illegal imports, the dairy producers said.
According to the association, this seasons require 20,000 kg of SMP on a daily.
Last year, according to the statistics, production of milk stood around 2.21 million metric tons.