With about Nu 5.17 million (M) worth of eggs produced in Mongar last year, the dzongkhag was 87 percent egg sufficient. The dzongkhag is estimated to have produced 7.27 million eggs.

The dzongkhag livestock sector plans to increase its egg production by 13 percent this year and become 100 percent egg sufficient.

The number of commercial and semi-commercial poultry farms increased from eight in 2014 to 20 and there are more than 700 small and households level poultry farms, according to the dzongkhag livestock sector.

Assistant dzongkhag livestock officer, Norbu Tshering, said egg production increased over the year because of the import ban.

“These encouraged farmers to take up poultry farming,” he said. “The dzongkhag helped farmers expand to a commercial level.”

Meanwhile, poultry farm owners say they are in need of proper market and adequate support to expand the farm.

They say the availability of eggs at cheaper rates in the markets from other dzongkhags is a concern.

A farm owner, Dorji Wangchuk, who had taken poultry farming for the last seven years in Mongar gewog, said it was difficult to find a market to sell eggs.

While his farm produces about three cartons of eggs daily, he could sell only a carton a day.

The farm produces eggs worth Nu 200,000 a month and has to export eggs to other dzongkhags like Bumthang, Phuentsholing, and Samdrupjongkhar.

Jigme Wangchuk from Drepong said the target set by the sector was done only to submit the reports to the government. “The reality in the field is different. Many support services at gewog level are available only on paper.”

Livestock officials, however, say that except for some issues related to chick culling, poultry farms do not have any challenges.

“The cost of production increases because of the feed,” Norbu Tshering said. “The farmers could not produce it in the dzongkhag.”

Nima | Mongar