Nima Wangdi | Soe

The highlanders of Soe gewog in Thimphu had a difficult year as demand for and price of their dairy products plummeted this year.

They usually travel to Paro with butter and Chugo, and sold them going door to door. Not many people bought them this year.

A resident near Soe gewog centre, Yoezer Dem, 41, said the price for both butter and Chugo have fallen.

A kg of butter that used to sell for Nu 900, this year earned only Nu 600. A shey (set) of Chugo that used to fetch Nu 200 was sold at Nu 180.

“Sometimes people don’t buy them saying that Yak butter is bad for sinusitis,” she said.

The absence of tourists also affected their business. Yoezer Dem has 40 yaks and usually earns around Nu 100,000 a year.

Another highlander, Pema Khando said he could sell only around five kilograms (Kg) of butter this year at Nu 500 a kg. He has some 35kgs at home.

“If I could sell some of them, it would help me buy some feed for the cattle,” he said. However, Pema Khando, who has 70 yaks, had no difficulty in selling Chugos.

People in Paro, they said, have also started rearing their own cows.

Another villager said this year has been a bad year for the people in Soe.

“Cordyceps auction failed, butter could not be sold, and tourism completely stopped and it is forcing some people to sell their yaks for meat as an alternative,” he said.

However, most of the people said that the Chugos sold well like before except for a few.

Soe Mangmi Tshering Dorji said that when the demand decreased, the price also dropped naturally. “We’ve asked villagers to inform the gewog administration if they could not sell dairy products so that the dzongkhag livestock office could help them,” he said. No one has turned up so far.