Nepal is facing heat of the lean milk production season, as the production fails to meet the country’s current milk demand.
Due to inadequate milk production, the country is currently witnessing a deficit of around 100,000 liters of milk per day.
According to the dairy stakeholders, average milk supply in the country is currently around 700,000 liters per day whereas the demand stands at around 800,000 liters per day.
“Milk supplied by dairy farmers during the lean season is not sufficient to cater to the market demand, as milk consumption is going up. To fulfil this deficit, we should rely on powder milk to produce milk,” says Arniko Rajbhandari, director of Nepal Dairy.
The excess milk stock stored during the peak season is utilized for making powder milk to meet the supply shortage, however, that is not sufficient to meet the demand during the lean season.
Therefore, 20 percent of the milk demand in the country during the lean season is met through imports from India.
“The government should focus on building capacity of cattle farmers and introducing new farming technology to preserve milk produced in the country. It should also transfer knowledge and skills on ways to preserve calves,” Sumit Kedia, president of the Nepal Dairy Association
Milk production in the country declines to around 490,000 liters per day during the lean production season (April-August in Nepal), whereas, it goes up to 875,00 liters/day during the peak season (September-March).
According to the Department of Livestock data, Nepal’s annual milk production is growing by around 4 percent, however, the demand is rocketing at an annual rate of 8 percent.