Phub Dem  | Paro

Lockdown is weather in itself. Paro has been wearing a deserted look for the last two days.

Roads are studded with police and de-suups, everywhere. Some kind of life has returned. Farmers are back in the fields. This bucolic view seems to come again after almost a century.

Some are picking mushrooms, even.

For many in Paro, it is not the essential items that they are worried about. Lack of poultry feed is.

There is a severe shortage of poultry feed in Paro, the dzongkhag that has about 50 poultry farms.

Paro’s livestock officer, Loden Jimba, said that of the six agents that supply feed, only two had some stock up.

With the lockdown on, transporting the feeds from Phuentsholing is practically impossible.

Unlike cattle and pigs, chickens cannot survive on alternative grains and goods. “Our main concern is regarding bird’s feed. They will develop cannabis behaviour and peek each other,” Loden Jimba said.

Vehicles that transport feeds reportedly are stranded in Phuentsholing.

Loden Jimba said: “There are no alternatives.”

Poultry production from the dzongkhag is high but there is no market.

The supplier of essential goods collect the eggs from the farmers and supply them in the dzongkhag markets.

However, can they supply it beyond Paro?

Demand-supply chain is hard to link, especially when the lockdown is on.

Pema from Tsendona recently bought 200 chickens, as the demand for eggs was increasing by the day. There is no market. The farmer is confused and distressed.

Another poultry farmer from Tsento, who usually sell eggs in the vegetable market, has six cartons of eggs stored in her farmyard. She has not been able to sell the eggs because of lockdown. “I can’t sell the eggs and that means I can’t buy feed for the chickens.”

In the nearby dzongkhag, Haa, essential item providers are supplying feeds to the gewog centre and the local leaders are distributing them to the farmers.