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New milk processing unit boosts dairy farming and productivity – Pema Gatshel

Dairy farming is the mainstay of most of the rural population in the country. Livestock is among the primary sectors of the economy with a contribution of almost 20 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product along with agriculture and forestry. Interventions such as facilitating the marketing of dairy products enhance productivity. In Pema Gatshel, there are 12 active dairy groups. Among them is the Khangma Gonor Chithuen Wongbab Detshen, which is the newest among them. Besides, high-breed cows, it recently received a Milk Processing Unit, MPU aimed at improving the productivity of the group.

The MPU was opened a few weeks ago. The group, which has 38 members, was supposed to receive the unit three years ago after the group was formed but the plan was cancelled due to the pandemic. It was constructed last year spending Nu 350,000.

“In the past, firstly, we couldn’t get the processing unit. Secondly, most of the members couldn’t afford to have hybrid cows. Today, the livestock sector supported us to buy better breed cattle by paying 70 per cent of the cost as a subsidy and now we even received the processing equipment. So, we could start processing works a month ago,” said Rinchen Chedup, chairperson of Khangma Gonor Chithuen Wongbab Detshen.

“The group has been established before itself. But we couldn’t start the processing work until recently. Now that we have the equipment and the processing unit, we are hoping it would go well,” said Dorji, a member of the group.

The members just have to reach their milk to the unit now. They are paid at the end of the month. A few members do the processing work. With the new facility, farmers are now planning to buy more cows. They also have plans to diversify their products.

Thinley Dorji, Pema Gatshel

Edited by Kipchu