THT 10 YEARS AGO: DFID spends 12.4pc of its budget

Kathmandu, March 2, 2006

The UK Department for International Development (DFID), a major bilateral donor in Nepal, has spent Rs 3,930 million during the year 2005, which is only 12.4 per cent of the allocated funds for the year. Though DFID had allocated Rs 31,620 million for the year, due to adverse working condition in the country, delivering effective services and carrying forward development initiatives at an acceptable cost was challenging. This has also constrained the use of the total allocated amount, DFID Annual Report states. The annual report is the first since DFID established an office in Nepal in 1999. The purpose of the report is to enable people throughout the country to understand what DFID is trying to achieve and the type of projects and programmes it supports, states a press release issued by DFID, quoting Mark Mallalieu, head of DFID Nepal. Peace building, livelihoods, basic services and governance and social inclusion are the major projects and programmes of DFID Nepal where Rs 530 million, Rs 1,180 million, Rs 1,410 million and Rs 810 million have been spent respectively in the year 2005. Except Bara district, DFID Nepal has programmes in all the districts of Nepal covering all five development regions of the country. The worsening conflict and political changes made DFID to review its programme in the first half of 2005.

Excess supply,‘holidays’ hit dairy farmers hard

Lalitpur, March 2, 2006

Dairy farmers who have been hit hard by frequent bandhs and milk holidays are facing hardship to pay back their loans due to an uneven milk market. Oversupply of milk has forced the commercial dairies to declare milk holidays in advance. Dairy farmers are forced to throw away the milk during this situation and face hard times to pay back their loans borrowed from the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to buy buffaloes or cows. Upendra Prasad Ghimire of Chandanpur, who had bought a bufallo with a Rs 45,000 loan from ADB is worried about how to pay back the loan. He said in December which is a flush time (Oct to Jan) for milk production had four milk holidays in a week. Over 5,000 farmer families in 14 VDCs of Lalitpur end up at the Dairy Development Corporation, Nepal Dairy, Kathmandu Dairy and many other private dairies to sell the milk. “Most farmers here were attracted to dairy farming as it pays a few thousands rupees monthly during normal days,” said a farmer Santa Prasad Humagain of Chaughare. However the profession lacks modern techniques due to lack of investment. According to Uddab Ghimire, manager of the Lalitpur District Milk Production Cooperatives Association, 45 corporatives in VDCs of the district collected 40,000 litres of milk everyday during the flush time in 2005 but the collection went down to 27,000 litres in a day recently.