A magnificent industrial plant, spread on spacious land between dense jungle and calm river looks impressive.
Chitwon Milk Limited, a joint-venture of Chitwon Co-E Pvt. Ltd. and Dairy Development Cooperation (DDC), established at Thimura, Chitwan, at the edge of the Narayani River, some 12 km north-east from Bharatpur, the district headquarters, began its commercial production since April 2010.
The plant guzzles up some 60 to 70 thousands liters of raw milk daily to produce Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP), pouch milk, ghee, butter, paneer and yoghurt. The company collects average 30,000 liters milk from various districts: Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara, Makwanpur, Chitwan, Gorkha, Nawalparasi and Rupandehi while DDC, that occupies 10% of company's share, provides 30,000 liters daily. Being the massive plant of whopping 150,000 liters capacity, the available quantity of milk is not sufficient, as power milk alone needs some 40 to 45 thousands liters milk daily. This does not meet the high market demand of the milk products in the country.
The company has initiated the various policies and activities to increase the milk production that includes quality production awareness, artificial insemination and import of cows from China. Company dispatches its technicians and paravets to the field to aware farmers about quality production and disease control. Hay (paral) and improved feeds (dana) are the main source of food for the cattle but green grass and fodder is essential for quantity and quality milk production. Genetic erosion through inbreeding has its deleterious effect also on milk production. To combat with this issue, the company has initiated artificial insemination program. Total 15,000 doses of semen (5,000 doses each of Jarsi Cow, Holstain Cow and Murrha Buffalo) have been brought from Gujrat, India and this program has been launched in Chitwan and Rupandehi districts as pilot program. Some 250 cows have been brought from China, of these, some 50 cows have been kept in the company premises and remaining cows were distributed to farmers as pilot scheme under the supervision of the paravets. The company aims to import some 6000 cows from China.
Shortage of raw milk in the country obviously is main problem for the company. Moreover it creates the unhealthy competition on price of the milk. Prem P. Bhattarai, milk procurement officer, emphasizes the strict government policies on price and quality management. Government should provide incentive and encouragement for farmers so that they get desired benefit from cattle rearing.
Some 2500 kg of powder milk is produced everyday. Currently the milk products are consumed in various places: Narayangarh, Butwal, Pokhara, Birjung and Kathmandu. The company aims to export the products, especially powder milk, to other countries as well. Both raw milk and products are quality-tested at the separate labs equipped with scientific facilities. Hemanta Raj Shakya, assist. production manager, said, "Our products are not only tested in our lab but also certified by Nepal Food Research Center. So these milk products are hygienic, healthy and nutritious that are essential for people of all ages."
Company's innovative plans and programs should thrive in future that will be instrumental for economic improvement of rural communities. These plans and research modules require the collaboration among the company, research institutions, private sectors and the government.