Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

The regional piggery and poultry breeding centre (RPPB) in Lingmethang, Mongar is operating at its capacity to meet increasing demand from the six eastern dzongkhags.

The demand for chicks produced in the centre has gradually risen over the past four years.

Records with the centre show there has been a drastic jump in the number of day-old-chick (DOC) supplied mainly significantly from 2016.

The centre has supplied over 84,541 DOC in the financial year 2016-17 which was relatively higher than the 58,844 it provided in 2015-16 fiscal year. It further increased to around 87,000 in 2017-2018, and then to 96,000 last year (2018-19).

For the 2019-20 fiscal year, the demand was 154,200. The significant rise, according to officials, is due to 40 to 50 percent increased demand from Mongar and Trashigang this time, while the demand from four other districts remained constant.

However, the centre expects to produce around 115,000 based on its production capacity. Usually, the target is set based on the requirements from the six eastern districts.

Livestock officials said they couldn’t meet the demand due to outbreak of the poultry disease Infection Bursal disease (IBD) that killed almost 40 percent of the total parent stock of 2,600 birds in March last year. The production was just from remaining 1,600 parent stock.

A senior livestock production officer, Wangchuk Namgyel, said for this financial year, 87,000 DOC have been supplied and the remaining would be supplied by June. However, he said the centre could produce as much as the farmers want with around 3,000 new parent stock already in place.

The trend is attributed to the increasing number of commercial poultry farms coming up in the eastern region.

Last year Mongar alone produced 7.27 million eggs worth Nu 5.17 million (M). The dzongkhag has around 20 commercial and semi-commercial farms, and more than 700 small and households level poultry farms.

Dzongkhag livestock officials said several new commercial farms sprouted and dzongkhag has achieved more than self-sufficient in eggs.

“Because of the excess eggs in the market, farm owners are selling eggs at Kholongchhu project in Trashiyangtse and other dzongkhags at a higher price,” the assistant dzongkhag livestock officer, Norbu Tshering said.

Similarly, Lhuentse livestock officials said the dzongkhag is also self-sufficient in egg production with an increasing number of farmers embracing poultry farming.

One of them is Gayden Jamtsho from Jalang in Minjey gewog who started a poultry farm last month. He has 400 DOC and 60 layers, and the class XII dropout boasts of monopoly in the gewog motivated to take up the farming.

“There is no farm in the gewog and people are buying eggs from Lhuentse town,” the 25-year-old said, adding that the eggs from the 60 layers were not even enough to meet the local demand.

Dzongkhag also saw a few new ventures including two Land Use Certificate youth groups in Jarey gewog. Given the demand in the market after the import ban, the locals feel encouraged.

The assistant dzongkhag livestock officer, Phurpa Tshering, said the five commercial farms with birds between 1,000 to 4,000 birds, six semi-commercial farms with 300 to 500 birds and several small scale farms produced around 4.3 million eggs last year.

The government gives 30 percent subsidy on the materials for construction of sheds for poultry farmers.