DDC’s Biratnagar plant doubles output capacityDairy Development Corporation (DDC) has doubled the capacity of its milk powder production plant in Biratnagar and plans to produce four types of milk products from next month.
Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) has doubled the capacity of its milk powder production plant in Biratnagar and plans to produce four types of milk products from next month.
The enlarged production capacity is expected to eliminate the need to declare milk holidays during the flush season lasting from September to March when DDC stops buying milk from farmers due to a supply glut, the state-owned enterprise said.
DDC set up the milk powder production plant in Biratnagar two decades ago. Previously, it had been producing 3 tonnes of milk powder annually. With the increased capacity, DDC can produce 6 tonnes annually.
Besides enhancing the production capacity, DDC has planned to diversify its product line. The corporation said it would be producing condensed milk, skimmed milk powder, tea milk and milk whitener.
DDC General Manager Ganga Timilsina said the corporation would begin trial production of these products next month. “We expect the increased capacity and product diversification to allow us to use the excess milk produced during the peak season,” Timilsina said.
The country’s daily demand for milk hovers around 800,000 litres. There is a milk shortage mainly during the lean season that lasts from April to August. Milk production drops to around 490,000 litres per day during the lean season. Milk production rises to around 875,000 litres per day during the peak season.
In the past, farmers would be hit by milk holidays when supply exceeded demand and DDC and private dairies had an overstock of milk powder.
Milk holidays are declared mainly during the flush season. Timilsina said another milk powder production plant was needed to completely eliminate milk holidays.
DDC now collects milk from 1,200 farmers’ cooperatives in 44 districts across the country. According to Timilsina, DDC has planned to operate chilling centres in locations along the postal highway and proposed mid-hills highway. Moreover, the state-owned company aims to set up two cheese factories in Panchthar in eastern Nepal. Opening dairy product manufacturing plants in Pokhara and erecting a milk processing plant in each of the seven provinces are among its plans.
Yubak Dhoj GC, secretary at the Ministry of Livestock Development, said DDC’s product diversification plan could help ease the problem of market access for farmers. According to him, lack of regular power supply and inadequate chilling and collection centres continue to be major problems for dairy farmers in rural areas.
As per the ministry, milk consumption per capita in Nepal stands at 72 litres per year, which is below the international standard of 91 litres.
GC said there was a need to increase milk production by 30 percent annually to meet the government’s target to make the country self-reliant in milk in the next three years.