Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

To ensure employment and supply of dairy products in the dzongkhag, Wangdue’s dzongkhag administration has allowed work at the four milk-processing units (MPU) amid lockdown.

Two of the MPUs are located in Sephu gewog and two in Gangtey gewog.

According to livestock officer, Ugyen, there were about 10 permanent employees and about 250 members who bring milk to the MPUs.

He added that the dzongkhag administration did not want the employees to lose their job and income.

MPUs also have enough space at the cold storage room to store their products.

Employee of an MPU in Rukubji, Yangka Dorji, said that the MPU in Rukubji had double and single deck fridges. The single deck fridge can store over 400 pieces of cheese.

A majority of products from the MPUs were sold in Thimphu before the lockdown.

An employee of an MPU in Sephu, Sethup, said that the products were first sold among the locals. The remaining products were sent to Thimphu.

According to Sethup, the MPU received around 100 litres of milk every day. The members of the MPUs make around Nu 100,000 in total every month.

The MPUs were closed until August 13 after the lockdown was announced on August 11.

An employee of an MPU in Gogona, Chimi Dema, said that because the quantity of milk was huge, it was too much for household consumption. Thus, the farmers raised concerns over the closure of the MPUs.

The MPU in Gogona produces yogurt, curd, cheese (gouda, cheddar) and butter, among others.