Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Zombala Detshen, a milk processing unit (MPU) in Norbugang gewog in Nganglam, Pemagatshel declared a Nu 2M profit for the year 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The unit, which started operating in 2019, earned more than Nu 4M profit within two years.  The group has about 73 members today.

The MPU’s chairman, Ngawang Peljor, said that the group made a good profit last year because it deployed members to different locations to collect milk.  The unit continued producing cheese and butter even during the lockdown.

He said the unit exported milk to India and nearby local towns before 2019.

The group has eight staff, including five operators in the MPU. “We supply the products to Nganglam, Panbang in Zhemgang, and Thimphu every week.”

The group sells cheese at Nu 350 per kilogram (kg) and butter at Nu 390 per kg to the locals, while it sells cheese at Nu 450 per kg and butter at Nu 470 per kg to Thimphu as it incurs transportation charges.

Ngawang Peljor said it was difficult for the unit to meet the demand in winter because the unit gets more demand.

He said that the group manages to produce about 40kg of butter and 60kg of cheese from almost 700 litres of milk a day. “We also get support from the agencies concerned.”

Since the business is doing well, Ngawang Peljor said that the unit had rented an apartment in Thimphu for the agent.  The group has plans to produce yoghurt and different varieties of cheese.

“The group is also planning to provide a loan to farmers in the gewog to buy jersey cows,” Ngawang Peljor said.  The group had saved about Nu 4.3M so far.