A brief overview of Samarth's dairy sector as a whole, as at 2018.
Impacts of poor quality of raw milk are reflected in short shelf-life of processed products, limited range of finished dairy products in the market, reduced opportunity to supply milk in export markets, and additional costs incurred in food preparation which is borne by the processors and the consumers. In order to address the above-mentioned constraints, Samarth-NMDP is building the capacity of the stakeholders to improve the quality standards of raw milk through an action research on the raw milk supply chain in six pilot sites.
A study on raw milk supply chain, supported by Samarth-NMDP and conducted by Dairy Industry Association (DIA) and Central Dairy Cooperative Association Nepal (CDCAN), confirmed the need for improvement in the quality of raw milk for the commercialization/industrialization of the dairy sector. Key stakeholders of the sector were unanimous on the necessity of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) across the entire value chain of milk production as a prerequisite to maintain the quality of milk.
The forage video is used as a training material for showcasing forage cultivation as a commercial business and to inform dairy farmers about the benefits of feeding forage. It is targeted at smallholder dairy farmers who have very less information about forage cultivation and feeding practices. This may help potential farmers who want to engage in forage production, not only for their cattle but also sell surplus forage.
Limited product diversity is one of the major constraints in the dairy processing sector having a direct bearing on the dairy farmers for their secured access to a milk market. Most processors focus exclusively in fluid milk business which comprises almost 90% of their business.
As part of adopting a market systems approach to development, Samarth-NMDP has been working with private companies to stimulate more sustainable access to quality forage seed for smallholder producers. In collaboration with public agencies, Samarth-NMDP has been helping to innovate a new business model for private seed companies to diversify into forage seed production and sales. Now, for the first time in Nepal, seven seed companies have begun a contract farming arrangement with seed multipliers for the commercial production of a summer forage seed.