Kathmandu, June 11
Stakeholders have requested the government to invest in research and technical studies for healthy growth of dairy industry. Pointing to the lack of technical studies during a workshop titled ‘Availability and Requirement of Dairy Science and Technology Related Human Resources in Nepal’, stakeholders have stressed on knowledge expansion programmes in dairy industry.
“We do have enough knowledge for the development of this sector, but we are failing to utilise it. Research-based programmes and production of technicians is the need of the hour,” said Bhesh Bhandari, professor of Food Process Engineering and Technology at the University of Queensland, Australia. He further requested the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development to adopt policies that encourage research and development for the growth of the dairy industry.
“Identifying the potential of this industry, the government has to bring a policy that could encourage both farmers and industrialists,”
Bhandari said, adding, “For that, we need more skilled human resources and innovations of new technologies.”
He further requested the ministry to utilise skilled manpower for the industry.
Meanwhile, Ghanashyam Lal Das, vice chancellor of Purbanchal University, said that the government must invest in research-based activities.
“We still don’t even have basic infrastructure for research and technical studies,” he said. “Research is not something that gives results instantly. So, you have to invest and have patience.”
Responding to stakeholders, Yubak Dhoj GC, secretary of the agriculture ministry, said that a lot needs to be improved in the dairy industry.
However, along with the government, stakeholders as well as public have to work in cooperation, he said.
“We have invested in research but those research papers have not been utilised,”
GC said, adding, “Our institutions are providing only theoretical knowledge to students and not focusing on imparting practical knowledge.” The industry will grow even if we can produce only a few skilled technicians every year, he said requesting cooperation of the universities.
Agriculture Minister Chakrapani Khanal, claimed that the ministry is doing its best to bring about changes in this industry. “It is true that there is a problem in our research centres and we need to improve them,” he said, “But if everything goes well, we will be self-sufficient in dairy products in the next two years.”
He further said that the ministry is gradually addressing all the problems of the industry and they will be resolved soon.
A version of this article appears in print on June 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.