July 22, Pemagatshel: It was a proud moment for Tshering Zangmo, 45 years old when she got her first salary of Nu. 1500/- for her service as a driver for Bartseri Gonor Gongphel Detshen. She is known in the locality as ‘NU AMA’ literally meaning, Milk Mother.
Every morning at 7 am, Tshering collects the milk from the milk collection centre (MCC) and distributes to the town dwellers driving a group’s white maruti van. Some group members assist her drive and also help putting up stones and wooden log for her uphill journey to avoid the mishaps.
According to Karma, a restaurant owner in town, the fresh milk which Tshering supplies is more economical compared to processed milk like Amul Taaza. Although still at a learning stage of driving, Tshering feels that her driving skill is improving and she will soon become an experienced driver. ‘I am proud to be the first woman to drive a marketing van for farmers group and I will take it to a greater height for achieving the group’s vision’, the proud ‘NU AMA’ shared.
The milk supply has gained its momentum recently with the support from the Dzongkhag Livestock Sector through subsidised cows, housing materials and silo pits. The group has applied for a loan to set up a community dairy farm and they also have plan to upscale the milk production, produce jersey heifers, cows and bulls to help reduce the import of cattle from India. The group will focus to produce at least 25 heifer/cows every year once they come up with a planned dairy farm.
Currently, the group supplies about 120 litres of milk from 14 members and is sold at Nu. 35/ litre. Maymey Daza recollects the days when the group had few litres of milk which had to be carried all the way to the town on their back. ‘Now, we have Tshering Zangmo and our marketing van to cater these services’, sighs Maymey Daza.
Submitted by Yonten Dorji, Dzongkhag Veterinary Hospital, Pemagatshel
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