How Trongsa became egg self-sufficient

First, it stopped imports from India and now it’s doing the same for other dzongkhags 

Poultry: After stopping the import of eggs from India, Trongsa is now working on not having to depend on eggs from other dzongkhags.

The dzongkhag is planning to produce over 3 million (M) eggs by the end of the 11th Plan to achieve its target in annual performance agreement.

“While we’ve stopped importing eggs from across the border, our next plan is to phase out even the import of egg from other dzongkhags,” Trongsa dzongda, Tshewang Rinzin, said.

In the last five years, Trongsa became self sufficient in eggs when it produced 2.750M eggs.

“Despite the sudden increase in consumers with the arrival of the hydropower project in Mangdechhu, the poultry farms are still able to meet the increasing demand,” dzongkhag livestock officer, Sherab Tenzin, said.

The first step towards becoming self-sufficient in eggs began from a poultry farm at Tongtophay, Langthel in 2009.  But more than the production of eggs, it was the hatching of the day old chick (DoC) brooding farm that benefitted the dzongkhag.

The DoC farm was started to reduce losses that poultry farm owners incurred while buying birds from other dzongkhags, like Mongar.

“High mortality rate and transportation costs in buying pullets from other dzongkhags made poultry farm business unprofitable,”Langthel’s livestock extension agent, Sonam Tshering, said.

The dzongkhang decided to open a brooding farm on trial at Yangzom’s poultry farm in 2009.  Today, the farm, which started with 500 DoC, now supplies over 700 pullets annually. “I meet the demand of pullets in Trongsa,” Yangzom said.

The business has encouraged other farmers and, today, Langthel alone has over 10 backyard farms. Five semi-commercial poultry farms were also established.

“Two more villagers also started brooding and layers farms,” Sonam Tshering said, adding farmers are now interested to form a poultry group because of fast return.

Today, Langthel alone produces over 55,500 eggs a month, meeting the dzongkhag’s increasing demand.

“Even with so many farms in the market, there’s no problem selling the eggs,” Baling poultry farm group member, Wangmo, said.

With the business getting lucrative by the day, Yangzom is planning to expand her existing brooding farm of 1,500 to over 2,500 birds annually.  She has written to business opportunity information center (BOiC) for funds and the dzongkhag is also helping her expand her farm.

By Tempa Wangdi, Langthel

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