The socio-economic implications caused by the coronavirus pandemic in Nepal continues to affect more people than the disease itself.
So far, the coronavirus has infected around 2,099 people in Nepal, which is quite negligible compared to other countries. However, the pandemic has a profound impact even on essential sectors such as dairy.
The Nepali dairy sector has received a severe blow with the enforcement of nationwide lockdown.
Currently, the dairy sector is facing a loss of NPR 100 million daily due to the drastic decline in market demand.
According to the Nepal Dairy Association (NDA), dairy products worth NPR 5 billion are still in stock and are on the verge of deterioration.
The COVID-19 pandemic has closed hotels, restaurants, canteens and schools, and restricted special celebrations, parties and gatherings leading to the fall of the dairy market to 35%.
“We have lost 65% of our market, and farmers are throwing away milk worth NPR 100 million daily,” exclaimed Pralhad Dahal, NDA General Secretary.
In response, the Nepali Government has tried to alleviate some burden on the dairy entrepreneurs by introducing soft loans, exemption on electricity bills and import of raw materials through the Federal Budget for FY 2020/21.
Meanwhile, the NDA celebrated the ‘World Milk Day’ to expand access to milk and its consumption on June 1, 2020.
On the occasion, the NDA has distributed milk and other dairy products to hospitals, nursing homes, security personnel, and quarantine facilities across seven provinces in the country.
According to the NDA, the dairy industry contributes about 9% to the nation’s GDP. About 500,000 farmers are associated with the dairy sector, while over 20,000 people are directly involved in the dairy industry.
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