Consumption of milk and dairy products has seen a sharp drop due to the COVID-19 pandemic at present in Nepal. Nepal Dairy Association said the dairy industries were incurring losses of Rs 100 million per day due to this. Central general secretary of the Association, Pralhad Dahal, shared that 3.1 million litres milk and dairy products were consumed daily during the normal situation before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The consumption has now dropped to 1.3 million litres milk and milk products daily.
Dairy industry’s contribution to GDP is nine per cent. There are four types of dairy industries in the country. They are cottage, small, medium scale and large-scale dairy industries. The number of all types of dairies in the country is around 7,000. The Association said milk worth Rs 100 million is wasted daily due to the decline in the consumption of milk and milk products by large and small hotels, restaurants, eateries, party palaces and others owing to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most of the hotels, restaurants, eateries, party palaces, schools, offices have closed due to the prohibitory orders imposed by the administration to stem the spread of coronavirus infection. Many people involved in business and work in the cities and towns have returned to their homes and the trade and business has come to a near standstill as a result, leading to the heavy drop in the consumption of milk and dairy products. Both the dairy farmers and industries are in problem due to the sharp drop in business. It is said the dairy industry which had suffered big losses during the first wave of the pandemic about this time last year are again incurring losses this year as well.
Last year the dairy industries had been purchasing milk from farmers and converting it into powdered milk with the thinking that the lockdown would be lifted and the situation would soon become normal, even though the sale of milk in the market was not in large volume. This year, the situation did not turn out to be so and powder milk and butter worth approximately Rs 3 billion remains in stock from last year, the Association said.