Tshering Namgyal | Lhuentse

Lhuentse has so far supplied 197 jersey cows (since 2017) to farmers to meet the dzongkhag’s 12th Plan target of producing 2,079 metric tonnes (MT) of milk.

The dzongkhag produced around 1,700MT of milk last year.

The dzongkhag procured 39 jersey cows from Tsirang, Bumthang, Trashigang and Pemagatshel recently.

Assistant dzongkhag livestock officer (ADLO), Phurpa Tshering, said that more than 15 youth had submitted their application to develop dairy farms.

“Cattle sourcing will continue until we achieve the target of milk production by the end of 2023,” Phurpa Tshering said.

Cattle souring is being done through the financial support from commercial agriculture and resilient livelihoods enhancement programme (CARLEP). Beneficiaries receive 30 percent subsidy per cattle head and free materials for shed construction and other support for pasture development.

Currently, three dairy groups: A women’s group called Lhamo Norzin Phendey Tshogpa, LUC group in Minjey, and Maenbi gonor thoenkey tshogpa, a milk group in Tangmochhu are into production of milk in the dzongkhag.

The LUC youth group in Gulibi and the milk-processing unit owned by the women’s group in Minjey process the milk and supply to retail outlets in the Thimphu. The group in Tangmochhu caters to the local demand.

Dzongkhag livestock officials said the women’s group in Minjey would focus on processing yogurt at commercial level from this year. Earlier this year, the group was linked to the schools in the dzongkhag with assistance from regional agriculture and marketing cooperative office (RAMCO) and dzongkhag livestock sector to supply yogurt to the schools as part of the school and hospital feeding programme.

The unit has a capacity to produce around 400 cups of yogurt in a go. The plan is to increase the production capacity to about 2,000 cups.

Phurpa Tshering said the group with the support from CARLEP will get a permanent shed with milk processing unit, yogurt making unit with an office soon.

The group will then be the largest supplier in the dzongkhag.

Lhuentse is egg self-sufficient. The surplus is sold in Mongar and Nganglam.