April 24 2014, Phuentsholing: Dasho Drungpa, Phuentsholing Drungkhag awarded certificates to two Broiler Farmers Group of Samphelling Geog and a Dairy Farmers Group of Phuentsholing at Meeting Hall, RNR-EC, Samphelling Gewog. During the opening address to the group members, Dasho Drungpa asked the farmers to concentrate on production within the country to reduce imports and then to enhance the household income. He also emphasised that animal welfare should be maintained while under taking such larger scale production.
Broiler Farming in Pasakha area started since 2003 by Budhiman Rai through BDBL financial support. Since then, the chicken farming has increased to a maximum of 35 households till 2012. Later, a few farmers gave up due to escalated feed and some management cost. Earlier, these groups functioned as informally as groups under the guidance of Budhiman Rai, Ran Singh Rai and Mr Ran Bahadur Limbu. These Chicken Producers named as Samphelling Meday Bja Nyamrup Detshen (SMBYD) and Phurpaling Bja Tsochung Detshen (PBTD) were formally formed in October 1, 2012 and registered as Chicken Producer by the Department of Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives (DAMC), MoAF in 2013. Currently SMBYD has 16 members and PBTD has 10 members in the group. Other than these two groups, there are still five more farmers involved in chicken production in Samphelling Gewog. Currently the farm sizes range from 500 – 4000 birds. Buddhiman Rai, Chairman of SMBYD says they also produce Day Old Chicks (DOC) of VENCOBB 400 and supplies to all broiler farmers in the valley.
Increasing feed price, inconsistent market, lack of processing plant and storage facilities are the major stumbling blocks for chicken producers in this area. Currently, they have to transport the chicken to the market immediately after dressing and sometimes the farmers incur heavy losses during the road block. In order to improve the chicken production system, the Department of Livestock has contributed a sum of Nu. 0.8 million to construct mini chicken processing plant on cost sharing basis. The Department will also support with blast freezer and cold storage on cost sharing basis, which will be installed after completion of the construction. With these facilities in place, the chicken production is likely to increase by twofold in the coming year provided the production cost does not escalate due to increasing feed cost and highly pathogenic poultry diseases such as Bird Flu. The current rate of chickens are Nu 150/kg which are sold to the meat vendors of Thimphu, Paro, Gedu, Phuentsholing,Wangdue and Chukha areas.
Similarly, the Phuentsholing Gonor Chithuen Detshen, a Dairy Farmers Group comprising 36 farmers has been in operation since July 2012. They have been engaged in collecting the milk from Ramitey, Dhamdara and Kabraytar area and marketing in Phuentsholing town. This group supplies milk ranging from 280 – 350 litres/day. Besides supplying of fresh milk, they also market other livestock products such as eggs and vegetables produced by the group members.
Samphelling Meday Gonor Gongphel Detshen (SMGGD) is another Dairy Farmers Group operating under the guidance of Chairman Birkha Bdr. Rai, Gurungdara, Samphelling. It was established in 2009 with about 250 litres of milk/day. This group collects fresh milk (both morning and evening) and market about 650 – 700 litres of milk/day from vegetable market, Phuentsholing to the residents of Phuentsholing, Pasakha and Jaigoan area. The group has two milk vans, which collects milk every morning and evening from the members and employed two sale girls. Birkha Bdr. Rai alone contributes more than 200 litres of milk/day from his 22 milking cows, which makes his monthly gross income to about Nu 180’000/month.
Besides, Dairy and Chicken Production, about eight layers farms 100 – 1650 also established in the Gewog. Few farmers have also shown the interest to start piggery farm in near future.
Padam B Gurung and J P Sharma, Dzongkhag Livestock Sector, Chukha
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