Dairy: The 42 households of Thengnabi and Jabana produce 280 litres of milk a day to Thengnabi Milk Dairy Cooperative.

Every households these two villages have a maximum three Jersy cows. The cooperative has appointed nine thuemi.

Tharpa Gyeltshen, 35, was elected as a thuemi. His role is to collect the milk from the members every morning from the collection point. He then checks the milk production. He said that he starts collecting the milk at 6AM from Thengnabi village and goes to Jabana village. He keeps a detailed record in a register. At the end of month, he pays the members accordingly with their milk contribution.

It is 10AM. Tharpa Gyeltshen comes out with a lactometer to check the milk. If the quality is good, the meter points to 25 and above.  Less than 25 is no good. It takes more than 45 minutes for Tharpa to collect more than 150 litres of milk. He gives each member Nu 30 per litre of milk.

By 11AM, Tharpa is in the market and starts selling the milk.

Kencho Dema from Jabana gets 10 litres of milk from the three Jersey cows she owns.

“Winter is not a good season for production of milk,” says Kencho Dema. Farmers don’t get fresh grass during winter. In summer, milking production goes double. The highest payment she has received so far is Nu 25,000 a month.

Likewise, Neten Dema, 32, sold 10 litres of milk to the cooperative today. It is too much feeding the cows.

Members of the cooperative are not allowed to keep milk at home. If they want butter and cheese, they have to buy from the cooperative or from nearby villages.

The cooperative was formed in the year 2007 with 13 members.

Tenzin Phuntsho, dzongkha livestock officer (DLO), said that livestock sector trained the villagers to produce high quality milk. It provided farmers with shed, milk containers, measuring cans and lactometers.

Thengnabi dairy cooperative received a royal awarded from His Majesty the King during the 107th National day celebration in Kanglung, Trashigang.

Likewise, in other gewogs like Khengkhar and Jurmey, there are poultry and piggery farms, and fishery in Yangbari. Balam has a plan to start a dairy cooperative.

Chaskar has a diary cooperative, milk collection point and a milk-processing unit. It produces cheese, butter and buttermilk

By Tashi Phuntsho