April 10, Samtse: A Micro-food processing Unit (MFPU) for Dorokha Sonam Ghongphel Tshokpa was launched at Dophuchen geog with fund support from the Remote Rural Community Development Project (RRCDP). It was a momentous occasion as 2015 commemorates 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The Fourth King of Bhutan.
The Tshokpa is established in one of the biggest chiwogs, Drangreyboo-Ngagang chiwog under Dophuchen, consisting of six villages namely Dorokha A, Dorokha B, Dorokha C, Namchu, Damphuchen and Chilumchen villages. There are 89 standing members with a total population of 940 heads in these villages.
The livelihoods of people in this chiwog are mostly dependent on subsistence farming and livestock rearing. Since cultivation of maize, millets, mustard, sugar cane and paddy are practiced at large, apart from cardamom and citrus; the processing unit would boost the agriculture production and market through improved post harvest facilities. The unit has rice huller, flour mill, beaten rice mill, oil-expeller and sugarcane juice expeller installed.
The objective of the unit is in line with the Ministry’s mandates is to increase agricultural production, accessibility and market. The Ministries future is to enhance faster growth in agriculture, create farmers groups and cooperatives in order to improve the standards of living of the rural communities through increased income through superior post harvest production and market; encourage farmers to cultivate maize, millet, mustard, sugar cane and paddy in winter season and on large scale; improve rural income through value addition on-farm products and nutrition of the rural community.
The unit was constructed at a total cost of Nu. 1.087 million with a project support of Nu. 0.556 m (51.2%), Nu. 0.300 m from Geog Development Grant (27.6%) and community contribution of Nu. 0.231 m (21.2%) in the form of labour.
Presently, seven geogs under Samtse are benefitted from the RRCDP support namely Dophuchen, Dumtoe, Denchukha, Tading, Namgaycholing, Pemaling and Norgaygang. Each chiwog is benefitted with either construction of foot bridges, power tiller tracks, toilet, dairy sheds, poultry, vegetable sheds, drinking water supply, farm mechanisation etc. are implemented in each chiwogs. Besides, bigger project activities like construction of farm roads and irrigation channels are also provided.
Contributed by Sonam Wangchuk, Sr. Dzongkhag Forestry Officer, Samtse
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