The Bhutan Livestock Development Corporation Limited (BLDCL), which formally opened on August 3 will complement the development needs of livestock sector in the country and help create employment opportunities for youth and farmers in livestock enterprises.

Director General of the Department of Livestock, Tashi Samdup (Phd) said that BLDCL as a State Owned Enterprise (SoE) will aim to supplement the needs of the livestock sector in the country. “Demand for livestock products is increasing exponentially. BLDCL was created as a coping strategy to serve this need.”

A press release from BLDCL stated that BLDCL would attempt to produce livestock enough for domestic consumption as well as strive to export. The company will also create readymade markets for products through contract farming system to enable farmers to produce more.

He said Bhutan will be self-sufficient soon in terms of livestock products and through BLDCL, livestock farming will become one of the main sources of income for farmers and youth. “This will be a major thrust in rural economy and a game changer.”

BLDCL is the third SoE under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Tashi Samdup said that gradually the department should focus on policies and plans, evaluation and monitoring, research and extensions, and innovations. “Livestock commercialisation aspects should be with farmers and private entrepreneurs. However, in Bhutan, because of the social stigma attached with livestock production, there are very few who take up livestock farming.”

Agriculture minister, Yeshey Dorji, said, that it would be difficult if the country cannot produce what it consumes. “Import worth Nu 2.3 billion was spent for  livestock products alone. If we are able to reduce imports by even half or by 30 percent of it, it could save our money from going outside.”

The press release stated that the department of livestock has agreed to transfer livestock input production facilities of Samrang, Samdrupjongkhar; Relangthang, Sarpang; Livestock Products Value Addition Centre (LPVAC), Serbithang and BCOOP shop,Thimphu to BLDCL to increase the production of poultry, piglets, fingerlings, goats, dairy cows and heifers which will support farmers to have greater accessibility to quality inputs for better income.

BLDCL has recruited 88 youth to date.

Rinchen Zangmo