Private dairies to shut down for lack of fuelPrivate dairies have announced that they will be shutting down on Monday for lack of fuel.
Private dairies have announced that they will be shutting down on Monday for lack of fuel.
They said that they would stop buying milk from farmers as they have been having a hard time collecting milk and shipping their products to market as they had no gasoline for their vehicles.
According to the Nepal Dairy Association (NDA), 175 large dairies across the country will close down. “Many dairy plants have already stopped procuring milk from farmers and the rest plan to close down from Monday,” said Sumit Kedia, president of the NDA.
Earlier, officials of the NDA and the Dairy Industries of Nepal (DIN) had met with Uday Chandra Thakur, spokesperson of the Ministry of Agricultural Development, to ask for help for the dairy industry.
They demanded that the government provide diesel. According to the association, the dairy plants require 30,000 litres of diesel daily.
“As we didn’t get help from Nepal Oil Corporation, we have no option but to close down the entire dairy industry,” said Pradeep Maharjan, president of DIN. Maharjan added that the losses of the plants and farmers would run into the millions.
The industry collects 500,000 litres of milk valued at Rs30 million from dairy farmers daily. “Only 200,000 litres of milk are being collected these days,” said Maharjan. The private sector meets around 60 percent of the market demand.
Sitaram Gokul Milk, producer of Sitaram brand milk and one of the largest processed milk suppliers in the Kathmandu Valley, said that consumers would not get any milk from Tuesday. Sitaram supplies 40,000 litres of milk in half-litre packets in the valley.
Likewise, Nepal Dairy, which produces yogurt and ice-cream, among other items, said the market could face a shortage of dairy products during the Dashain festival as it would also stop production if the situation continued for another five days.
Arniko Rajbhandari, director of Nepal Dairy, “We require 400 litres of diesel daily and we have 22 milk collecting vehicles and generators, but we are having a hard time finding gasoline. So we will be compelled to close the plant after four to five days.”
Rajbhandari added that they would not be able fulfill the requirement of ice-cream and yogurt during the festival season when it rises significantly.
Similarly, state-owned Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) has stopped collecting milk in many areas.
Ganga Timilsina, general manager of DDC, said, “Our plants and collection process have been hit hard by the shortage of diesel, so we have not been able to collect milk in many areas.”
DDC collects milk from 43 districts through its seven collection centres at Banke, Kailali, Butwal, Hetauda, Janakpur, Biratnagar and Balaju in Kathmandu.