A new hope for the highlanders of Soe

Farmers from Soe and Soeyaksa with the Livestock Director
Farmers from Soeyaksa with the Livestock Director

18 April, Soe-Soeyaksa: In order to perceive the reality of highlanders in yak farming which is one of their main sources of livelihood, the Director, Department of Livestock (DoL), Program Directors from the National Centre for Animal Health (NCAH) and National Dairy Development Centre (NDDC), the senior officials for the highland development program from the Department and the Thimphu Dzongkhag Livestock Sector officials visited Soe and Soeyaksa geogs in Thimphu and Paro respectively. The visit will help the appropriate planning and implementation during the 11th five year plan in enhancing the income and creating a healthier scenario to sustain in the highlands.

The livestock In-Charge of Soe, Mr. Namgay organised a daylong meeting with the farmers to discuss on the highlanders emerging issues in yak farming. Dr. Tashi Samdup, the Director mentioned in his address that the team visit was to give new hopes for the highlanders in sustaining their life from yak farming and enhancing their income to provide a quality life. Realising the importance of yak farming, he also mentioned that a new program “High Land Development Program” is created in the Department to provide better focuses and services for the highlanders.

Towchu Rabgay, Livestock Officer speaking during the visit
Towchu Rabgay, Livestock Officer speaking during the visit

The farmers were briefed on the 11th plan indicators and were offered a forum to identify the potential of yak development and prioritise the indicators so that the result can be measurable and tangible. Responding on this, farmers identified three key areas to enhance production such as the feed and fodder development, butter and cheese production with value added and yak meat production. To help these areas, the Director, advised the team to start with the support to promote feed block, better gid disease control methods and medicines; product processing techniques and quality packaging materials and slaughter house construction  for humane slaughter of the animals.

Dr. Kinzang Dukpa, the Program Director for NCAH expressed that his visit with the Director has given him an opportunity to experience the evidence of gid disease in the area and further to understand the actions that needs to be taken up. Dr. D.B Rai, the Program Director for NDDC shared with the farmers that the production support in supply of cream separator and hygienic milk production techniques will be provided at the earliest. The Director also advised the farmers to start eco-tourism based livestock production so that the community can be benefitted from both the ways.

Mr. Dorji Dukpa, the Dzongkhag Livestock Officer of Thimphu marked the visit of the Director and his team to such a terrain areas as an indication for the importance of highland development program under the Department. He also mentioned the visit as a blessing and motivation for the extension officials and farmers in enhancing the yak production.

Reported by Towchu Rabgay, Livestock Officer, DoL

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