Dispute over milk price hike

KATHMANDU: Central Dairy Cooperative Association Ltd Nepal (CDCAN) staged a two-hour sit-in at all the Dairy Development Corp (DDC) offices today to pressure DDC to increase the price of milk.

Farmers and dairy cooperative officials participated in the two-hour protest organised from 10 am in DDC offices at Balaju, Hetauda, Biratnagar, Butwal and Kohalpur.

CDCAN has been protesting since Tuesday demanding implementation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives' decision to hike milk price. The ministry decided to increase milk price by Rs 4 per litre -- dividing the benefits between farmers and dairy industries. "Farmers should get Rs 2.76 hike and dairy industries Rs 1.24," the cooperatives said.

The ministry directed DDC to hike the milk rate from yesterday. When DDC appeared reluctant to implement the new rate, dairy cooperatives association started its protest since August 18. CDCAN -- the umbrella organisation of farmers and milk cooperatives -- has planned to stop all dairy supplies from Friday and padlock DDC's central office and regional offices. The association has also demanded its representation in the DDC board and mandatory contribution of Rs 0.5 per litre in Dairy Development Fund.