Baking to support livelihood

Rinchen Zangmo | Dagapela

Nima Dema from Gangzor village completed her secondary education in 2017. And she did not continue further.

The 21-year-old chose to stay back in the village and engage in farming activities to help her parents.  But when she heard about training about baking, she grabbed the opportunity last year.

“Baking is easy and fun. However, we need to keep on doing it to better our skills,” she said. “I wanted to do business.”

Daga Chithuen Detshen has five members all of whom are women. She is the youngest member.

Nima Dema said that the group was formed in February this year.

“I feel that there is a good market for cookies and biscuits here,” she said.

About 41 people were trained in basic baking skills

About 41 people were trained in basic baking skills

She also attended the training to make commercial pickles at Rural Development Training Centre. When she is not baking, she is involved in paddy cultivation, growing cereal crops and selling vegetables.

Nima Dema said her focus would solely be on bakery business in the future. “There are enough raw materials. If we put in effort, I think we will succeed as a business.”

Feedback has been positive so far.

She also attended a training in Zhemgang last year.

Technician at the National Post Harvest Centre (NPHC), Tenzin Rabgay, said that about 41 locals were trained in basic baking skills. He said that the skills were provided to provide an avenue for people. “It would also help substitute imported biscuits. This way the locals can also earn more.”

He said that there were plans to provide training to the interested people in baking as the first training only involved the basics.

They use buckwheat, wheat, millet and maize to make cookies. The group was also represented in the recent Dagap farm festival, where they sold cookies, candies and pickles.

They made more than Nu 10,000 at the festival.

Economic development officer, Tshering Ngedup, said that the training was to equip interested people with necessary skills to work in baking or food processing business. “The training was provided on culinary arts and food processing. Lot of offerings includes imported products today. There are materials available.”

He said that it was also towards supporting self-sufficiency goals.

Another member of the group, Sangay Lhaden, said that she had been baking since two years now. “All members are very devoted and the cooperation is good.”

She said that there were challenges related to baking equipment. “As we have very few number of electronics for baking, the amount of our items is limited. We are working towards getting more machines at the moment.”

She said that they met this week to discuss new ideas for products and about their business prospects. “We try to come up with new products. Skills are important as it means we can earn income.”

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