Neten Dorji | Trashigang
While Trashigang tops milk production in the country, the country’s biggest dairy processing unit at Chenary, Trashigang has been operating below half its capacity.
Local leaders during the dzongkhag tshogdu on December 24 discussed the issue at length before deciding to help the struggling plant.
Yangnyer Mangmi, Tshewang Gyeltshen said farmers would not be able to achieve self-sufficiency, if dzongkhag does not support the dairy processing plant.
Tshewang Gyeltshen said, it is high time to support the dairy plants while farmers are picking up the dairy farming activities across the gewogs.
“Without marketing, farmers are affected indirectly. We can replace all the imported dairy products in schools and start supplying our own products.”
He said that, it would be a wise move if all education institutions and other institutes can use local dairy products.
Dzongkhag Tshogdu Chairperson, Kinzang Dorji said most of the schools and colleges are consuming imported dairy products and vegetables. He said, if schools can buy local dairy products, the money would remain within the country.
He said, it would not make much difference, if the rates of local products were higher than imported goods.
“If we are to invest in human capital, we have to start from the diet of our school going children. It would be better if schools can substitute the imported dairy products which is not ideal for students’ health.”
A local leader said that, most of the schools are importing dairy products which are cheap to save money for other purposes.
The DT decided that the chairperson should write to all schools of Trashigang, colleges and other institutes to replace imported dairy products with local ones to implement the DT resolution.
One of the dzongkhag officials said that the country dairy imports could be easily substitute if people start to consume local products.
He said that, it would benefit the country’s economy, if all six eastern dzongkhag schools can use the dairy products especially processing block cheese.
Meanwhile, Koufuku International Limited, Chief Executive Officer, Ugyen Dendup said dairy business has good prospect in Trashigang to reduce poverty especially in rural areas.
“Every day we buy 2,800 liters of milk during summer and 1,500 liters in winter. In return farmers take home Nu 1.6 million a month.”
He said, if schools and colleges can implement the resolution of DT, it would benefit the farmers and the country’s economy. “Most of the schools and colleges are consuming imported dairy products.”
Ugyen Dendup said, “The company would become stable in terms of finance and it can expand the capacity.”
The KIL produces processing block cheese, butter (salted, non-salted, and pasteurized), yogurt and cheese, among others.
The official from KIL said that, if they were given the opportunity to distribute processing cheese to school and colleges, they would focus mainly on far flung areas. “We do not want to disturb the market of dairy farmer groups.”
He said, the company can supply processing block cheese to all Trashigang schools. “We are planning to install automatic machine to produce processing block cheese.”
Around 280 households supply their milk to KIL. The company is also planning to collect milk from Monger and Trashiyangtse.