Dairy Development Corporation (DDC), the state-owned milk supplier, is preparing to raise price of processed milk by as much as Rs 8 per liter.
Talking to Repbulica, Ganga Timsina, general manager of the corporation, said preparations were at final stage to hike milk price.
At present, DDC has been distributing three types of milk — cow milk, skimmed milk and non-skimmed milk. While cow milk costs Rs 64 per liter, skimmed and non-skimmed milk are available at Rs 70 and Rs 56 per liter, respectively.
DDC officials say they were preparing to raise price of milk due to pressure from dairy farmers. “Farmers have been pressing us to increase milk procurement cost saying that their production cost has increased. Our study also shows that there is a need to adjust milk price,” Timsina said. “We will raise the price within couple of weeks.”
He also said 69 percent of hiked price will go into the pockets of farmers.
Babukaji Panta, director of Nepal Dairy Development Board (NDDB), said the committee, which had been asked to recommend on price hike, has already forwarded its suggestions to the Ministry of Agricultural Department (MoAD). “DDC will announce price hike once it gets go-ahead from MoAD,” said Panta.
DDC, the state-owned dairy producer, enjoys 40 percent share in country´s dairy market. It sends around 140,000 liters of pasteurized milk in Kathmandu Valley alone on a daily basis. DDC has processing plants in Balaju (Kathmandu), Biratnagar, Hetauda, Butwal, Kohalpur and Dhalkebar. Every day, it purchases more than 250,000 liters of fresh milk from farmers in more than 40 districts. Though it used to purchase 20,000 liters of fresh milk from Patna, India on a daily basis, it has stopped imports for the past few weeks citing sufficient production in home.
Meanwhile, farmers affiliated to Central Milk Cooperatives Association (CMCA) have criticized the government for purchasing milk from India at a higher price. “It is a matter of shame that the government has been buying milk from India at Rs 50. It pays local farmers only Rs 37 per liter even though production cost hovers above Rs 50 per liter,” Naran Devkota, president of CMCA, said.
Meanwhile, private dairies have said that they would make adjustment in milk price in line with price adjustment by DDC. “We will adjust price of milk as soon as DDC announce price hike,” BM Jha, marketing manager of Sitaram Gokul Milks, said.