Chitwan's milk processing industry brought into operation

CHITWAN: Private dairies in Chitwan have started operation of the country's one of the biggest powder milk industry — Chitwan Milk Ltd. The industry was closed after the sales of powder milk went down following the devastating earthquake in 2015.

The industry has been carrying out the processing of milk in stock, produced by the private dairies, according to Chair of Nepal Dairy Association (NDA), Araniko Rajbhandari. Currently, CM Ltd produces milk powder and butter ordered by the dairies affiliated to the NDA, Rajbhandari said and added that the industry has remained incapable of operating regularly in lack of adequate income.

Meanwhile, CM Ltd gets paid Rs 105 and Rs 47 excluding VAT, for converting milk into powder and butter respectively, Rajbhandari said. He added that the powdered milk could be preserved for about a year and could be used when there is a shortage of milk. Currently, the dairies have been getting their milk powdered in quantity required for their own use.

Chairman of CM Ltd, Rajubabu Shrestha said that the company will be operated regularly from October. The firm, established in 2009, had a difficult time competing with another Indian milk firm in the market. Despite suffering loss, the company went running until the time when the earthquake partially damaged the building, plants and machinery bringing operation to a full stop. Shrestha said that CM Ltd would regularly produce 'dairy whitener' from October and would continue making other dairy products citing the NDA's positive response in the utilisation of CM Ltd's products.

NDA chair Rajbhandari said, the Indian milk powder weighing 25 kilograms (kg) costs Rs 3,000 cheaper than the one produced in Nepal as the Indian government offers concession of INRs 10 in each litre of milk.

The quantity of milk that could be prepared from 25 kg Nepali powder milk exceeds the Indian milk powder by 40 to 50 litres, CM Ltd manager Durga Parajuli claimed and also pointed out the higher quality of the Nepali milk powder.

Currently, CM Ltd produces three types of milk powder — whole milk powder, dairy whitener and cream milk powder. The firm has the capacity to carry out the processing of 150,000 litres of milk on a daily basis. Apart from this, the firm can also prepare ghee, yogurt, paneer and pouch milk.

The industry was established with the investment of more than Rs 1 billion in 8 bigha of land, at Thimura in Bharatpur Metropolitan City-1. The industry had to purchase milk from India in the beginning years.

Of the total milk powder worth Rs 3 billion imported in Nepal annually, 45 per cent is consumed by the Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) while private dairies, bakeries, biscuit among other industries consume another 45 per cent.

At present, the government has banned the import of milk powder creating an environment to foster the growth of domestic milk powder in the market.