Call to promote animal husbandry

Lalitpur, August 8:

Agriculture experts said today that farmers have failed to supply adequate quantity of milk products and sufficient meat due to the lack of government policies and research and investment in animal husbandry.

Speaking at an interaction programme organised by Nepal Animal Science Association, Dr Purushotam Mainali, director-general of the Department of Livestock Services, said, “Though farmers have been working hard, they have not been able to supply milk products and meat as per the demand.”

He further said, “The government needs to focus on research and development activities.”

“Like other sectors, the animal husbandry should also be reformed. Policies should be formulated and investment made to promote this sector,” he further said.

NP Chaudhary, pasture specialist at the Department of Livestock Services, said,” A good number of farmers will take to animal husbandry if the government offers good incentives .”

The World Health Organisation recommends consumption of 400 gm of milk a day, which equals to 146 kg per capita per year, but the Nepalis are consuming only 50 kg of milk annually.

Milk powder and other milk products worth Rs 56 million were imported in the fiscal year 2006/07, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. Chaudhary further said,

“Free market policy should be adopted, tax should be waived for certain period and bilateral and regional tariff and non-tariff barriers should be removed to promote the production of milk and milk products in the country.”

Dr CR Upreti, a scientist at the Nepal Agricultural Research Council, said, “The demand for meat is increasing with urbanisation and increase in income, but the supply is not at par with demand.”