Choki Wangmo 

Since the second nationwide lockdown began last month, Bhutan Livestock Development Corporation Limited (BLDCL) has aggregated and supplied 4,420 kilograms (kgs) of cheese, 1,912kg of butter, 4,226 cartons of eggs, 6,586kg of chicken, and 1,302kg of rainbow trout in Thimphu Thromde.

The products were domestically produced and replenished periodically according to market needs.

Chief Executive Officer of BLDCL, Jigme Wangchuk, said that the corporation did not have to supply in the other dzongkhags. “The products are supplied by other dzongkhags and it will be sufficient during the entire lockdown period.”

Livestock products were procured from Bumthang, Chukha, Haa, Paro, Dagana, Samtse, Sarpang, Tsirang, and Wangdue. Tsirang livestock sector supplied 384 cartons of eggs, 2,500 balls of cheese, and 50kg butter on December 25.

Tsirang produces an average of 900 cartons of egg a week.

More than 6,000kg of beef, 1,371kg of pork, and 1,524kg fish were imported and supplied within the thromde.

Owing to high demand for meat, 13 meat shops were allowed to open towards the end of last month.

Jigme Wangchuk said that BLDCL had distributed to identified shops in different zones within the thromde which eased the process unlike the first lockdown.

During the first lockdown, BLDCL had to make home delivery in super zones and peripheral zones. “It was a daunting task,” he said.

“This time, we identified our frontline responders as per the zones and these responders continually supplied to the same zone,” he added.

He said that the corporation now has enough portable freezers and refrigerators to store the products. Due to shortage of cold storage and problems in transportation, 13,000kg of chicken were damaged during the first lockdown.

“There won’t be issues now with the storage since the temperature is low, although livestock products have a shorter shelf life,” he said.

BLDCL is yet to complete a 10 metric tonnes cold store at Serbithang.