Dairy Farming Flourishes in Norbugang Gewog with Multiple Dairy Intervention
Zambala Dairy Group was established in 2019 in Nyngshingborang under Norbugang Gewog. The group consists of 69 members (40 men and 29 women) from Norbugang, Tsershingzor and Nynshingborang. The group has rented a private house for 15 years as MPU and pays Nu. 1000/month as rent.
Since the establishment of the MPU, CARLEP-IFAD has supported the group with a vacuum packing machine, a freezer, a milk chiller, milk cans, a display refrigerator, a yogurt processing machine, and a butter churner.
In both summer and winter, the group collects about 600 to 800 liters of milk every day. On average, the group processes 35 kilograms of butter, 700 kilograms of cheese and 20 liters of buttermilk from the total milk collected in a day and sells butter at Nu.390 per kilogram, Nu.35 per cheese ball and buttermilk at Nu.25 per liter in the local market. Once a week, 10% of the dairy products are sold through an agent in Nganglam town , while 90% of the products arrive in Thimphu once a week. In Thimphu, butter is sold for Nu.470/kg and cheese for Nu.35/cheese ball.
In 2020, the group produced about 213,000 liters of milk, 11.3 MT of butter, 21.3 MT of cheese, and 2.5MT of buttermilk. On average, the group makes a net profit of Nu. 2.1 million per year and has joint savings of Nu.4 million and shares worth Nu.3.3 million in the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan. Apart from the current savings, the group has purchased a milk van and a marketing van (Bolero) to facilitate milk collection and product marketing.
Group members attribute the increase in milk production to the availability of feed in all seasons and the facilities provided. Each group member has been provided fodder slips with fund from CARLEP, and currently each member owns at least 1 to 4 acres of fodder land. In addition, group members have received subsidized supported for construction of improved cattle sheds, cattle sourcing, chopping machines, artificial insemination, and sex-sorted semen for desired breeding to increase yield.
The Zambala Dairy Group has also played an important role in creating employment opportunities in their communities, including for youth. The MPU has recruited 4 youths, 2 of whom are female, and pays them a monthly salary of Nu. 12,000 each. Similarly, the group pays a monthly salary of Nu.20,000 to the chairman of the group and Nu.17000 each to the secretary and treasurer.
Reported by: Leki Wangchuk, ES, Norboogang Gewog, Pemagatshel and Chhimi Lhamo, GKMO, OPM