NDDB recommends halting import of powdered milk
Kathmandu, July 4
National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) — the regulatory body of country’s dairy industry — has stressed on the need to stop import of powdered milk (dried milk) for a certain time to address surplus production of milk within the country.
Citing that production of milk has increased even during lean season this year while the consumption is dwindling, BabukajiPanta, executive director of NDDB, said that import of powdered milk should be controlled for a limited time to prevent the possibility of milk holiday.
“Production of milk has been rising every year while the demand is constant. Also, recent quality issues related to packaged milk and halt in export of Himalayan Dog Chew to United States has brought down the demand for milk,” informed Panta, adding NDDB has suggested Ministry of Livestock Development (MoLD) and Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DoFTQC) to temporarily halt import of powdered milk.
A recent government inspection had found packaged milk of different dairies not complying with the set standards, causing demand for milk to plummet. Similarly, export of Himalayan Dog Chew, whose major raw material is milk, has been halted since few months due to some quality issues. Hence, if precautions are not adopted, it can lead to ‘milk holiday’ situation, Panta said.
Domestic dairies use powdered milk during lean season. On an average, Nepal imports almost 3,000 tonnes of powdered milk every year as only a few dairies produce it in the country.
As per NDDB, the normal demand for milk in Kathmandu Valley for direct consumption and making other dairy products stands at almost 400,000 litres per day. Similarly, almost 50,000 litres of milk is consumed for production of Himalayan Dog Chew every day.
Meanwhile, Panta revealed that the trend of mixing water in milk to prevent it from curdling could be one of the major reasons for surplus supply of milk, which he stressed should be stopped.
“Mixing water in milk not only results in surplus supply but also affects its quality. Thus, we have directed all dairies not to purchase milk that contains solid-not-fat (SNB) below eight per cent.”
Meanwhile, Purna Chandra Osti, spokesperson for DoFTQC, said that controlling import of any product is not under the jurisdiction of DoFTQC unless the product does not meet the set quality standards.
On the other hand, officials of MoLD informed that the suggestion of NDDB regarding halting import of powdered milk is under consideration and necessary decisions will be taken soon.