Food: Livestock extension officers of the western region now have an opportunity to point out challenges they face in fulfilling livestock department targets aligned to the annual performance agreement (APA).

A livestock consultative training workshop began on March 18 in Phuentsholing.

The program will work as a platform for field officers to discuss and review livestock activities in Thimphu, Paro, Chukha, Haa, and Samtse.

The veterinary doctor of the Regional Livestock Development Centre (RLDC), in Tshimasham, Chukha, Dr Basant Sharma, said the workshop will function as a forum to discuss challenges field officers face in accomplishing targets on the ground.

The consultative workshop will also review the progress of livestock development activities in five dzongkhags of the western region.

“We also look for potential areas of activities that require RLDC’s intervention and support,” Dr Basant Sharma said. “The livestock officials would be updated on the technologies, while identifying solutions for field implementations.”

According to Dr Basant Sharma the purpose of conducting the workshop is aimed at two major aspects — food self-sufficiency in the western region and import substitution.

Citing examples of milk and poultry production for the region—the RLDC official said they have a target of producing 10,000 metric tonnes (MT) of milk annually and 500MT of poultry respectively.

While the challenges faced in the fields will be discussed, Dr Basant Sharma said the workshop will focus in building specific ideas towards bettering activities to achieve the targets. Similarly, the consultative meeting will also serve as a baseline for the next meeting.

Meanwhile, the weeklong workshop also aims to present major livestock diseases, their preventive and control measures and treatments. At the end of the workshop, infertility and breeding aspects on different livestock will also be covered.

A total of 60 participants comprising gewog in-charges and dzongkhag livestock officers are attending the workshop. Representatives from the calf rearing centre of Wangkha, Chukha, jersey breeding centre of Samtse, and regional poultry breeding centres are also attending the workshop.

Rajesh Rai, Phuentsholing