‘Ilam needs milk powder plant’

Ilam, June 20:

Farmers in Ilam district have urged the government to establish a milk powder plant in the district.

Farmers have stated that up to 50 per cent milk is being wasted owing to continuous strikes and milk holidays, in the district.

“During strike days, milk can not be supplied to Biratnagar-based Dairy Development Corporation (DDC). Daily 25,000 liters of milk goes waste during a strike day,” said Bhishma Pradhan, chairman of District Dairy Production Cooperatives.

He added, “Farmers here are bearing 70 days strikes every year, for the past four years. There has been no alternative to milk being spoiled during in a bandh day.” According to statistics available with the District Agricultural Office, 60,000 litres of milk is being produced in Ilam district daily. Of the 60,000 litres of milk, the Biratnagar-based DDC purchases 25,000 litres of milk. Local consumers and local dairies consume the remaining quantity.

“The DDC marks ‘milk holiday’ twice a week during the winter season. Farmers face lots of problems then. So it is essential to establish a milk plant in the district,” said Ganga Bhurte, chairman of Dharapani Daily Production Cooperatives.

“District council of the District Development Committee has passed a special proposal to establish a milk plant in the district, recently,” said Local Development Officer, Meghnath Kafle.