Cooperative: Despite the dzongkhag’s assurance to allot it with a space to construct a sales counter a year ago, a dairy cooperative in Punakha is still using a rented place to sell their products.

This, the Serigang-Woku Gonor Damche tshogpa members say, is costing them money as they have to pay a monthly rent of Nu 8,000.

The cooperative’s chairman, Dechen Om, said paying rent from their minimal monthly income is difficult for the members and it might force members to leave the group. “The tshogpa has to buy feed for cattle, contribute to group budget and also repay loans availed to buy cows.”

She said that when the group was formed, the dzongkhag administration assured them a plot of land to construct a sales counter at Khuruthang. “That would benefit all the 11 gewogs in the dzongkhag,” she said.

A group member, Kencho, said renting the sales counter costs each member between Nu 300 to Nu 800 in a month. “If there is a sales counter, the group members could use this money for other purposes.”

He also said each of the members contribute Nu 50 per month, and Nu 1,200 twice a year for the group budget.

The matter, group members say, was even raised in the last dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) of the first local government. “The DT decided to identify the land in Khuruthang soon,” a member said.

Meanwhile, Serigang-Woku Gonor Damche tshogpa was formed in July last year with 42 members and there are 39 members from two villages of Serigang and Wokuna as of now. “Some members left the group as they faced manpower shortage in their homes,” Dechen Om said.

Dawa Gyelmo | Punakha