Quality of raw milk needs to be improved

Kathmandu, November 3

A recent study conducted with accredited laboratory tests has revealed high level of microbial counts and high acidic level in raw milk. The study also confirmed the trend of increased use of preservatives and neutralisers, especially in the collection and processing of milk, highly compromised quality of milk available in the market.

The findings of the study, which was jointly conducted by Samarth-NMDP and FORWARD Nepal, were disseminated during a programme held here today. The study was conducted to validate that if the draft Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is executed in the raw milk supply chain, it would enhance quality of raw milk and uplift the dairy sector.

The programme was attended by various stakeholders of the dairy sector, which included dairy cooperatives, dairy associations, Nepal Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and dairy farmers.

The workshop also served as a platform for various stakeholders to interact and reach a common understanding to implement GMP in the entire supply chain of the dairy industry. The Central Dairy Cooperative Association Ltd Nepal (CDCAN) took the initiative to implement GMP from the farm level to chilling centres as the study had revealed that the microbial count increased especially in the collection and chilling centres.

Representatives of the private sector reiterated their commitment to continue working to improve the quality of raw milk through the application of GMP.

Samarth-Nepal Market Development Programme (NMDP), a UK aid funded programme, is working to improve the quality standards of raw milk to establish and validate the application of draft GMP in raw milk supply chain from farmers to processors; and increase farmers’ income mainly through reduced losses arising from the improvement in the milk handling practices.

To validate the first draft of GMP developed by NDDB and implement the voluntary draft standards at the farm and the chilling centre level, Samarth conducted an action research on the raw milk supply chain in different pilot sites located in Kavre, Nawalparasi, Tanahun, Bara and Makawanpur.