Feed agents running short of supplies worries farmers 

Chimi Dema | Tsirang

Worried that he may run short of livestock feed before relaxing the lockdown, Damber Singh Subba, a farmer in Phuentenchu, Tsirang has reduced the amount of daily feed for his layer birds.

For about 9,000 layer birds in his poultry farm, he usually feeds at least 11 bags of Karma Feed a day. But over the past few days, however, he has been able to feed only eight bags a day.

“I may need to reduce the amount further if the feed shortage continues,” he said.

He was lucky to be able to buy 40 bags of feed the day before the nationwide lockdown.

With the support from the dzongkhag livestock sector, the gewog administration delivered about 100 bags of livestock feed for poultry, piggery and dairy farmers on August 13. Farmer got about ten bags of feed each.

Damber Singh Subba said he managed to get 20 bags, enough for two days.

The gewog has 18 poultry, eight piggery farms and a dairy farm consisting of 56 members.

Soon after the nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, one of the main concerns of Tsirang farmers was feeding their livestock.

Farmers said that although they were quite prepared for the lockdown in terms of essentials and other necessities, they couldn’t stock up livestock feed given a short expiry term.

“We cannot keep them longer than 15 days,” a farmer from Gosarling said.

Although farmers could feed alternative food resources to cattle and pigs, for layer birds, feed was necessary.

About 160 bags of animal feeds were supplied in the last two days in the gewog.

The gewog officials said that although farmers demanded about 10 bags each, only four to five bags were distributed given the short supply.

Gosarling gewog alone has about 25,000 layer birds.

The feed agent in the gewog, Indra Tshongkhang has run out of poultry feed since last evening.

The owner said that they have been receiving continuous orders from farmers.

“Our two trucks carrying 500 bags of feed were stranded in Phuentsholing due to restriction on vehicle movement,” the owner said.

The agent has supplied 150 bags to five gewogs yesterday alone.

In Barshong gewog, no shortage of animal feeds has been reported as of now.

Gup Santa Lal Powdel said, “Farmers have stocked up enough fearing cut-off from the town due to roadblocks,” the gup said.

He said that the tshogpas were also asked to compile lists of requirements should there be any.

Four feed agents in Tsirang distributed more than 900 bags of livestock feed in the last two days. While a few agents have about 50 bags each in stock, others have run short of supplies since last evening.

The Senior Dzongkhag Livestock Officer, Gyem Tshering, said that three trucks carrying feed for Tsirang were stranded in Pasakha due to restriction on vehicle movement.

“We may face severe shortage if there isn’t feed supply from the source within a week,” Gyem Tshering said.