20 April, Soe and Soeyaksa: With smiles on their faces, Soe and Soeyaksa yak rearing farmers’ return home with a small carton box to hand over to the rest of their family members. One of the members opens the box and in surprise finds a small lantern with wire attached accessories. It is a portable solar lantern with one small panel and a wire jack with a multiple head for charging the mobile phones. A Solar Lantern!
According to a farmer, ‘This is a huge support for us. We move from place to place with the yaks and this solar lantern will help us better care for the yaks and also churn milk at night in our tents and sheds, besides other obvious benefits.’
According to Dr. Tashi Samdup, the Director for the Department of Livestock (DoL), the development intervention at the smallholder farmer’s level should not be a ‘Reductionistic’ approach but rather a ‘Systematic approach’. There are many causes and effects that affect the yak herders to farm in a sustainable and efficient manner, and the use of Renewable Energy is one amongst them. To this effect, DoL with Thimphu and Paro Dzongkhag’s Livestock Sector distributed portable solar lanterns, 5 to Soe geog under Thimphu and 17 to Soeyaksa village under Paro. The Lanterns were handed over to the farmers during the Director’s visit to the highland (yak rearing).
The Department believes that such an apparatus would be beneficial to the migratory yak herders and would enhance in managing clean and hygienic milk production even during the night and early mornings. This would also save fuel wood and oil which are scarce commodities in the highlands. DoL will promote such sustainable interventions in all the Yak rearing areas across the country. Besides this, promoting the sustainable livelihood and opportunities of the highland yak herders are highly priroritised agenda for DoL. In addition, various issues and strategies to address Yak breed improvement, feed and fodder resources, animal health concerns (especially the Gid Disease in Yaks “Coenosis cerebralis) were also discussed and finalised.
Reported by Towchu Rabgay, Livestock Officer, DoL
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