Buffalo Ghee Production and Marketing:
Summarised article based on: Vishwakarma, O.P., Thapa, D.B. and Rasali, D.P. (1996). A case study of buffalo Ghee production and its marketing in three hill districts of Lumbini zone of Nepal. The 8th AAAP Animal Science Congress (13-18 October 1996) Proceedings, Vol. 2: Free Communication papers. Published by Japanese Society of Zootechnical Science, Tokyo, Japan. pp. 980-981.
Production of Ghee (clarified butter oil) from buffalo milk is a traditional practice of farmers in the hills Nepal.The product holds an important place in the economy of farming households (HHs) particularly in the hill districts, Palpa, Gulmi and Arghakhanchi of Lumbini Zone, not only as a provider of a nutritious food ingredients but also as a source of substantial cash income for farming families.This article summarises a case study undertaken by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), Bhairahawa Branch to establish the baseline information on buffalo Ghee production and its marketing system operating in these hill districts.
A case-study survey was
conducted in the year 1994/95 using a structured questionnaire household
interview across three wealth rank categories of large, medium and small
farmers sampled purposively from one Village area of each of the three
districts.A total of 7 farming HHs comprising two large farmers’ category (each
raising >5 cattle/buffaloes), three of medium farmers’ category (each
raising 3-4 cattle/buffaloes), and two of small farmers’ category (each raising
<2 cattle/buffaloes) but all having at least one milking buffalo in their
HHs were selected from each of the three sampled Village areas.
The survey results showed
that the overall average amount of buffalo Ghee production per HH per annum was
34.38 kg worth an average HH income of NRs. 4813. at a price of NRs. 140.
per kg (1 US$ = NRs. 55.).The annual amount and cost of, and the annual gross
income from, the HH Ghee produced were highest in the large farmers’ category
followed by medium and then small farmer category.However, the benefits-cost
ratio was highest in the small farmer category followed by large and the medium
farmer category indicating the relatively lowest cost of production amongst the
The survey results also showed that the Ghee consumption pattern was not uniform across farmers’ wealth rank categories. Most of the Ghee produced at large farmers’ HHs was consumed within their HHs, whilst the medium and small farmers’ HHs saved respectively 25% and 39% of Ghee produced in their HHs for sales. However, out of an overall surplus of 14% Ghee produced amongst HHs surveyed, small amounts were sold within the village area to meet local demands.The rest of the surplus Ghee is collected by local traders from the village HHs for making the bulk sold in bigger markets such as Tansen and Butwal in the case of Madanpokhara in Palpa District, Tamghas, Tansen and Butwal in the case of Paralmi in Gulmi District, and Butwal and Krishnanagar in the case of Dhikura in Arghakhanchi District.Some of the bulk Ghee so collected is locally consumed even in these market areas, whilst the rest is exported through the border customs points of Bhairahawa and Krishnanagar to Indian market.Customs Department's 1995 figures indicated that the bulk Ghee exported to India in the year 1994/95 through these two customs points was to the tune of 343 mt worth a total of Rs. 21.9 millions accounting for an increase of 3.6 % from the previous year in its total value at current prices.The age old practice of producer farmers carrying the bulk surplus Ghee on their own back load to the distant markets such as Butwal and Krishnanagar in the Terai districts of Lumbini Zone was no longer in existence ever since the opening of two major highways crossing each other within the zonal territory in early 1970s.
The buffalo Ghee is produced both for HH consumption as well as cash income in the hill districts of Lumbini Zone.However, larger farmers produce it mainly for their own consumption, whilst the smaller farmers were benefited proportionately more from the cash income from it.The substantial amount of Ghee from the hill districts of Lumbini Zone is exported to India market as a surplus from the domestic consumption.
Citation for this article:
Vishwakarma, O.P., Thapa, D.B. and Rasali, D.P. (1996). A case study of buffalo Ghee production and its marketing in three hill districts of Lumbini zone of Nepal. The 8th AAAP Animal Science Congress (13-18 October 1996) Proceedings, Vol. 2: Free Communication papers. Japanese Society of Zootechnical Science, Tokyo, Japan. pp. 980-981.