Rumour mill makes mega farm butchery

Project: The quiet village of Samrang has lately been waking up to dust and groans of heavy machines. Forests are being cleared and grounds levelled for the mega farm on some 800-acre land in the village. At least 20 massive ponds have been dug where farm will be.

The mega farm will have fishery, piggery, heifer farm, buffalo farm, broiler farm and goat farm, among others. It will have feed plant and a meat-processing unit.

Although the villagers are excited about new developments in the village, they look at the change taking shape from afar with mixed feelings. But at least the clearings will stop the marauding elephants from entering the village fields. Already the raiding behemoths have stopped coming.

Dawa, a villager, has only a scant idea of whole activity taking place in the village but he is happy that at least something is coming up to give life to the village that is almost abandoned.

“We only have about 27 households in whole of the gewog. With the coming of the farm, may be villagers who left gewog in 1990s will return,” he said. “It is going to be a very big farm, we are told.”

The benefits of the farm have already started trickling down to the villagers. Many villagers now have jobs that give them about Nu 250 to 300 a day. Soon the approach road that goes through the villages will be renovated and blacktopped.

As with any big project, however, rumour mill is running rife with the news that the mega farm is actually going to be a giant slaughterhouse in the future. There is even a video that has gone viral wherein a person describes the farm area where thousands of fish, cows and pigs would be killed.

Tara Biru Bista said that when the villagers attended the consultation meeting, they were just told that a mega farm will be constructed. There was no talk about a slaughterhouse now or in the future.

“We were only told that buffalo milk would be distributed in India commercially and that fish would be supplied to the farmers within Bhutan,” he said. “We keep hearing rumours about slaughterhouse, but we hope they die like all rumours do. We are happy that a mega farm is coming to our village.”

Samrang Gup MB Gurung said villagers were told that the farm was planned to help Bhutan achieve self-sufficiency in terms of meat and dairy products, and that in the future farms could be handed over to the communities.

“And now we are hearing about slaughterhouse instead of farm. It is important to clear this,” said MB Gurung.

Officials at the agriculture ministry could not be contacted for clarification.

By Yangchen C Rinzin,  Samdrupcholing 

6 replies
  1. cldstam-btf7
    cldstam-btf7 says:

    Hello FoL,
    First of all one thing should be spoken out clearly: It is not a rumour, that there will be a slaughterhouse. You are writing it yourself in the article: There will be a piggery, broiler farm and a meat processing unit. That means slaughterhouse. Or how can you process meat without slaughtering before? Do you want to process the animals alive?! Write the simple truth: This farm will breed lots of animals for the sole purpose of killing and eating them!
    And this should be discussed openly, not hiding from the people what is actually obvious.
    The choice of a remote place is also intentional, as it is less likely that there will be a lot of resistance – as it would be in a more populated area. This also shows the hidden agenda.
    As reporters, you brothers and sisters should work for transparency, not helping to hide unpopular decisions.
    Until now Bhutan has been cherished around the world for being one of the last refuges of wild animals such as tiger and elephant, having some of the last untouched forests of this widely abused planet. Cutting down large forest areas for meat production means to copy the greedy behavior of other nations: For the sake of money and luxury, they are sacrificing intact nature, increasing the global warming (which meat production does!) and pushing our brothers and sisters the animals further back, taking the mother earth as their possession, mercilessly destroying it.
    One of the principles of GNH is the conservation of environment. Any mega project goes against this. A mega farm especially has a negative impact because the dense accumulation of animals requires the large scale use of antibiotics, producing dangerous resistant bacteria, and, depending on the strength of the greed behind it, maybe also the large scale use of growth hormones to make the animals grow faster (more profit) and that will also spread to the water around the farm and the people eating the meat. Furthermore the mass-production of animals/meat usually means a lot of suffering for the animals concerned.
    That again does not go well with another pillar of GNH, which is the preservation of spiritual heritage. Causing suffering and taking other’s life is clearly against the Dharma.
    This whole discussion is about what is worth more: Gross National Happiness, or Gross National Product…

    With all my love to the country

  2. antivirus
    antivirus says:

    Dear Readers,

    Let us stop emotional outcry. I know Bhutanese object to slaughtering of animals but they need meat in every meal. What is this contradiction? Let us be practical. Ministry of agriculture and our Government want every Bhutanese to be self-sufficient. Considerable margin of food imports had paralysed our economy. These projects are also one step towards achieving the goal.

    I am sure these upcoming mega projects in Samrang will benefit Bhutanese and Bhutanese economy at large. Being narrow minded will be a huge obstacle to get on track.

  3. logical
    logical says:

    [This post has been moderated. Please refer to our forum rules and guidelines.]

    “With the coming of the farm, may be villagers who left gewog will return,” he said. “It is going to be a very big farm, we are told.” said Dawa, a local villager.

    “The mega farm will have fishery, piggery, heifer farm, buffalo farm, broiler farm and goat farm, among others. It will have feed plant and a meat-processing unit.” This is MOST WELCOME despite tons of sentimental feelings of people siding with emotional teachings of beggarly religions that have not proved successful to solve even a simple problem in life. We need to see something PRACTICAL DONE making use of WASTELAND in our country. It is GOOD BEGINNING from REMOTE PLACE that will not be unnecessarily frequented by emotionally weak that howsoever ENJOY THE TASTE of MEAT… Let them just testify how much BETTER is the PRODUCE of BHUTAN and be happy with the rest.

    I just pray that the prices of the products (dairy and meat) will be affordable to people of all walks.

  4. gangnamstyle2013
    gangnamstyle2013 says:

    from serbethang to samrang now? taking advantage of the remoteness of the place? obviously those unproductive and sick old animals will be killed. and the meat processing unit will be there for this purpose only.

    aiiii what a pity on these innocent animals who feel the same as us but are considered different just because they can’t speak. Koenchhog Sum khenno, please bless those animals so that their next rebirth is a good one. Om A Hum Baza Guru Pedma Sidhi Hum…………………………………………………………………….

      MIGNIEN says:

      Sir , you are absolutely wrong : the animals which are slaughtered must not be EITHER IMPRODUCTIVE BECAUSE OF THEIR OLD AGE NOR SICK ; the prodction of a slaugter is besaed on health animals only ; unproductive and sick animal , not good for consumption , are just good for incineration for healthy reason .
      In a recent article over livestock , farmers who produce pigs say that their production is under the consumption . So they must breed much more pigs and piglets due to the bhutanese who eat more and more meat . ( 12 KG per year per consumer )

      You do not taste to eat mels with meat ; and you use credule false reason . You are blind by the fact of your faith ; but not the well eating of good meat .

      I am happy for the farmers which could earn money with an organic meat production . Which will go on Bhutan self sufficient .
      The rebirth has nothing to do with problems of to day men eating .

    MIGNIEN says:

    So with time and perseverance , little by little , the idea of building slaugther houses become a goal ; and famers have understood their interest : jobs , benefits , less drestroyed crops because of elephants .

    And for the finance country , it is a self sufficient futur goal in fresh organic meat .

    The battle of opposants ( because of credulity and ideology) to slaughter-houses is loosen within some months ! This village can be alive in next months . And peasant and farmer became a little more rich ! Good news !!
    That business must be encouraged by all ways !

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