KATHMANDU, MAY 26

The Nepal Dairy Association (NDA) has revealed that the country’s dairy industry has lost around 80 per cent of its market during the lockdown period.

Due to the lockdown, all the large consumers like party palaces, schools, hotels, restaurants, cafés and canteens are closed at the moment as a result of which consumption has declined drastically.

Issuing a press statement today, NDA has asked the government to arrange loans without collateral for at least five years for the diary factories. Meanwhile, the association has also urged the government to waive the interest on their existing loans and extend the payment deadline for at least two years.

“Instead of looking for new investment in the dairy industry, the government must bring policies to increase the capacity of existing businesses by managing easy loan access, grants and subsidies for the operation of industry,” reads the statement.

The statement further adds that the government must waive penalty on utility payments, extend the deadline to renew licence and increase loan limit from Rs 50 million to Rs 100 million at two per cent interest rate for the dairy industry.

The NDA has also urged the government to make it mandatory to include milk in the ration of government offices, Nepali Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force. As per the association, the dairy industry has an investment of around Rs 30 billion.

It also stated that approximately 500,000 farmer households are directly and indirectly involved, while around 20,000 people are directly employed in the industry.

Hence, to secure the farmers, investment of factories and jobs in the sector, the NDA has requested the government to bring suitable policies and programmes to sustain the industry.

The statement also adds that enough budget for the development of infrastructure for the dairy sector has to be allocated in the upcoming budget.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 27, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.