• Agro Expo 2006 : Dairy sector getting better

Kathmandu : Livestock rearing is an integral part of Nepali agriculture since these are used for labour (bullock) production, manure production, religious purpose and milk and meat production. A Nepali farmer family in average owns 3.6 cattle and 2.4 buffaloes. Major dairying animals in Nepal are cows and buffaloes. These are reared in mountain and Terai regions of country whereas yak/nak are other dairy animals in sub-Himalayan regions.

The population of milking cows and buffaloes within the country exceeds 0.90 and 1 million respectively and total milk production is more than 1.2 million metric tonnes, which is in the growing trend of around 3.2 per cent annually. Out of the total milk produced in Nepal, the share of buffalo milk is higher, which is around 70 per cent of the total milk production. The dairy sector contributes around 8 per cent to national GDP.

Productivity of cows and buffaloes is around 387kg/ year and 810kg/year respectively. The total dairy production in FY 2005 stands around 1,274 thousand MT. which is projected to increase up to 1312.13 thousand MT by 2006.

The History of dairy Industrial activity in Nepal dates back to 1953 when yak cheese factory in Langtang district was established. In 1969, Dairy Developme-nt Corporation (DDC), a government paras-atal was for-med. The pr-ivate sector started getting involved in dairy-processing from late 1970s with very small-scale operations in Kathmandu. Its significant gro-wth was seen only after the implementation and approval of ‘Ten Year Dairy Development Plan’ by HMG in 1990. With government announcement of the policy of privatising DDC in the 1990, the private sector grew at a faster rate. Private sector involvement is mostly in Kat-hmandu valley where large private dairies are located.

Today, there are more than 250 dairies (including DDC, private sectors and cooperatives), which altogether produce more than 18 million litres of milk per day with a cash contribution of more than Rs 4,500 million per year. This cash directly reaches to the farmers of rural areas thereby helping poverty reduction. Dairy farmers in districts have organised themselves in milk producers’ cooperatives and milk producers associations. There are more than 1,400 such unified organisations, which represent more than 95,000 farmer families and the average supply by each family is around 4 liters.

(Source: Agro Enterprise Centre/FNCCI)