Fodder germplasm established at Bartseri

1Pemagatshel: With the establishment of fodder germplasm, Aum Tashi Pema of Bartseri under Shumar gewog will be no longer worried to feed her three milking cows next season. The team comprising of students from the school agricultural program of Pemagatshel Middle Secondary School, Dzongkhag Livestock Sector and National Research Development Centre for Animal Nutrition (NRDCAN), Bumthang jointly developed a fodder germplasm in her 1 acre of fallow land.

The team planted with 10000 Pakshong fodder slips (Pennisetum purpureum), also known as Napier grass, elephant grass or Uganda grass which is becoming a primary fodder crops for dairy farming in sub-tropical areas.

The program helped the students to understand the basic of fodder farming and discover it as alternative employment and income generation opportunities besides helping the dairy farmers resolve the labour shortages. Dorji, a class seven student who hails from the Bartseri expressed his satisfaction in acquiring new knowledge from the program and felt blessed with his contribution to the community.

The Deputy Chief Dzongkhag Livestock Officer said that the program was mainly to increase the fodder resources through fodder cultivation in the fallow land. He is optimistic that this program will address the winter fodder shortages that have been the primary reason for the drop of milk production in winter. In 2018, the Sector has developed 30 acres of fodder plantation and is still going vigorously in various gewogs.

Napier grasses improve soil fertility and protect arid lands from soil erosion. ‘It has low water and nutrient requirements, therefore this grass can make best use of uncultivated lands,’ said Sr. Feed and Fodder Officer, Wangchuk.

The program was organised by the Dzongkhag Livestock Sector with fund support from NRDCAN.

Submitted by Yonten Dorji, Livestock Production Officer, Pemagatshel

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