Price milks dairymen of their sleep

Pokhara, December 7:

Farmers in Bhatarpokhari VDC of Kaski district are having nightmares as the price of milk remains static despite skyrocketing rates of hay, other cattle fodder and medicine. They have to import hay from Terai for hefty sums, but the unchanged milk price has dashed their dreams of saving some money through the dairy profession.

In wards 2, 3 and 4 of Bhatarpokhari alone, more than 500 households rear cows and buffaloes of hybrid species. As much as 2,300 litres of milk is consumed in Pokhara daily but milk sellers get the short end of the stick.

Price of milk has remained the same since years. “We are compelled to pay triple for a load of hay now. It was Rs 50 last year, but this year it shot up to Rs 200. However, a liter of milk costs only Rs 22,” grieved Shovakar Bhandari, chairman of the Local Livestock Group.

The farmers here are demanding that the price of milk should be Rs 25 per litre. Dairy

entrepreneurs also echo their concern.

“Given that the price of a litre of milk was fixed at Rs 25, it would a huge respite for all the Bhatarpokhari farmers,” said Sushil Parajuli, owner of the Kamdhenu Dairy Industry Pvt Ltd.