Phurpa Lhamo | Gasa

Members of the Khamoed Dairy Group in Gasa earned their first month’s income after the October 2 installation of the milk processing unit.

According to the dairy group’s chairperson, Damcho Wangchuk, 42 members received payment for supplying milk to the unit.

“The members received a minimum of Nu 1,500 and a maximum of Nu 16,000,” he said.

The milk processing unit structure was built with budget support from the dzongkhag. The dzongkhag also provided equipment such as pasteurizers, a cooler, a display fridge, and deep freezers.

Damcho Wangchuk said that the unit currently produces yoghurt, local cheese, butter, buttermilk, and fresh milk.

He said that the products were supplied to the Bjishong Central School in Gasa.

“Yogurt is produced twice a week for the school. Local cheese and butter is also supplied to the school.”

While the unit sells cheese, butter, and milk in Gasa town, the demand for yoghurt is minimal. “About 100 cups of yoghurt a week have been enough for the people in Gasa, while the milk, butter and cheese haven’t been enough,” Damcho Wangchuk said.

The unit has the capacity to produce about 350 cups of yoghurt daily.

Damcho Wangchuk said that about 80 litres of milk were collected from farmers in Khamoed gewog, which was not enough. “We have discussed the concern with the dzongkhag livestock department and have requested that they encourage farmers to increase production.”

Azha Pasa, an online platform, has also approached the group to market their products.

Looking to market the products in Thimphu, Damcho Wangchuk said they are discussing the pricing.

Meanwhile, the unit has a problem availing yoghurt cups, which are imported from India. “It takes time for the cups to reach here. Most houses are scattered, so transportation is also a challenge.”