Livestock: Without a livestock officer, the villagers of Martshala gewog in Samdrupcholing dungkhag are facing problems in carrying out livestock related activities.

The gewog has been without a livestock officer for a year after the former one was killed in an accident last year.

Villagers have raised the issue with the gewog administration and in the gewog tshogde several times.

Gup Yenten Dorji also raised the issue during the dzongkhag tshogdu held recently and explained that there is a dire need for a livestock officer because most livestock activities are technical in nature.

He said whenever cattle get sick, it becomes a problem deciding which medicine has to be administered. He added that while there is a trained village livestock helper who has been helping the villagers it is still a risk to be treating cattle without full knowledge.

“There are cases in many villages where cattle are dying and they report it to us but we’ve to inform them that there is no livestock officer and we can’t do anything,” the gup said.

“We also need help to manage and run the already established milk processing unit, poultry and piggery farms,” he said.

The gup added that they have proposed for another milk processing unit but are not aware if it has been approved or not because it was looked after by the late livestock officer.

He added that the villagers are more worried today because the livestock helper wants to resign because of the demands of the job, which involves having to look after almost 205 households, without any incentives. Most of the villages are also scattered.

The gup said they are yet to get a response on a replacement livestock officer.

“We keep hearing they will send one soon but it never happens. Livestock is as important as agriculture and we hope to get one soon,” he said.

In response, the dzongkhag’s human resource officer reiterated that a new livestock officer will be appointed soon. “Since the new officer is freshly recruited he has been kept for an induction course. It is not that there is lack of human resource, maybe they have to wait about two weeks,” said the officer.

Yangchen C Rinzin |  Samdrupjongkhar