April 18, 2024, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Farmers of Chitwan protest by spilling milk on the road

The Nepal Weekly
February 20, 2024

Farmers of Chitwan protested by spilling milk on the road on Sunday after the industries refused to collect milk even at a cheaper price. The agitating farmers’ group that went to the district administration office Chitwan with placards and slogans poured milk at the central bus park under the East-West highway. They also shouted slogans demanding the resignation of Agriculture Minister Beduram Bhusal. The milk collected from farmers is sold by local cooperatives to various industries. The industry sends money to the cooperatives to pay the farmers every 15 days and the farmers receive the funds through the cooperative, so the industry has not given money to the farmers since June/July. Rather than wasting milk, farmers are ready to sell it at a lower price than the one set by the government. However, after the industrialist refused to collect milk even at a cheap price, the farmers protested by spilling milk on the road.

Farmers complain that there is no market for Nepali milk due to uncontrolled import of raw milk and milk powder from India. While the import of powdered milk from India is legal, the import of raw milk is prohibited. However farmers claimed that some large private dairies are collecting raw milk for smuggling by setting up moisture centers in the border areas of some districts of Terai. Chitwan is self-sufficient in milk, produces three and a half lakh liters daily. 115 milk cooperatives and more than 60 private dairies are active here. Most of the private dairy industries across the country, including the government-owned Dairy Development Corporation (DDC), purchase milk from Chitwan. Since the money sold for milk has not been received for a long time, there has been a problem in the livelihood of farmers. More than 40,000 animal husbandry farmers of Chitwan have not received payment of about 52 crores. Out of three and a half lakh liters of milk produced in Chitwan, one and a half lakh is being consumed outside the district.