Neten Dorji | Kanglung

Pema Feed Mill (PFM) in Kanglung, Trashigang, which has the capacity produces to produce 32 metric tonnes (MT) of animal feed a day, it has been able to produce only about 6MT of feed a day.

Manager Sangay Dendup attributed the low production to limited market accessibility and competition from other feed mills.

“We are facing market problem,” he said. “Because of religious sentiments, not many farmers are interested to start piggery and poultry farms. Feed production so has been low.”

He added that the PFM feed is cheaper than the ones available in the market. For instance, market rate for 50kg layer feed is Nu 1,775.  PFM feed sells at Nu 1,625.

The feed plant established in 2015 as a public-private partnership project and was funded by Market Access and Growth Intensification Project (MAGIP).

Except for Samdrupjongkhar and Pemagatshel, the plant supplies feed to all other eastern dzongkhags.

“But generally demand for feed has fallen over the years,” said a staff.

The plant was expected to address the issues feed shortage in the east. However, poultry farmers in Trashigang said that PFM feed was of inferior quality.

“And the price of feed keeps rising,” said a farmer.

National Centre for Animal Nutrition (NCAN) in Bumthang continues to provide technical assistance to all feed mills in the country.

NCAN’s programme director, Jambay Gyeltshen, said the centre was monitoring the situation. “We have not received any formal complaint about PFM feed being of inferior quality.”

He said that feed samples were tested in the laboratory in Bumthang.