CASA is transforming small dairy businesses

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Mahila Samudayik Sewa Kendra (MSSK) is a cooperative based in Ghorahi city in the Dang district of Nepal. It was established in 2016 and is a women led cooperative with more than 90% female farmers as members.

CASA is supporting MSSK to establish a milk processing facility in Ghorahi. This support includes help with conducting s feasibility study for the facility by a dairy technician, carrying out field level assessment, mapping of milk collection points, development of business plans and facilitation of a loan application. CASA is also supporting MSSK with staff training for after the plant is established. The plant design is currently being finalised and two potential sites have been identified for its location. A mapping study for milk collection points was conducted and this identified 9 milk collection catchment areas from where milk for the plant can be sourced.

MSSK currently collects milk on a small scale (about 10-15 farmers provide 200 litres of milk per day). With this milk MSSK produces paneer, Khuwa, milk-based sweets and ghee. After the processing plant is established, MSSK aims to collect 2,000 litres of milk daily from 300-400 farmers in its catchment area within a year, expanding to 600 farmers after two years of plant operation.

MSSK recently reported to CASA that Nabil Bank has approved a 5-year loan of NPR 60 Lakhs (GBP 36,354) for the plant installation. This will be used for plant construction and equipment purchase. The construction is scheduled to start in April and take 3-4 months to complete. The loan comes at an interest rate of 7.76% – although the national government will subsidise the interest payment and MSSK will have to pay less interest than stipulated in the loan document. MSSK’s representative says, the technical documents developed with CASA’s support were instrumental in the loan approval process.

MSSK is satisfied with the technical assistance provided by CASA so far and seeks further support for farmer training on milk production, Good Manufacturing Practices, and on marketing of their product. He says if CASA had not provided technical support to MSSK, they would not have established a large-scale milk processing plant but would have continued milk collection and selling on a small scale.

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