English | Dzongkha Sunday, April 21, 2019

Rearing sheep declines in Merag Gewog

Tshering Zam, Kanglung
Jul 30, 2017

Rearing sheep is declining in Merag Gewog of Trashigang and farmers there cited the reasons being laborious and lack of abundant pasture for the animal to graze.
Each household in Merag owns only a handful of sheep meant just for production of wool. As compared to rearing yaks, sheep farming, locals say is more tiring. Also, some of them said there are risks of losing the animal to the Tibetan mastiffs in the area people keep as guard dogs.
“We need two people to look after the yaks and other two for the sheep. It is not convenient to rear the two animals together,” said a farmer named Lobzang Dorji. “Additionally, rearing yak is more profitable as we can sell milk and butter. We can also use yak hair for weaving clothes. But from sheep, it’s just the wool.”
The Merag Gup, Lama Rinchen said, earlier, people used to rear and breed sheep in flocks because there were enough pastures and in winter, the locals used to migrate to lower altitude places with the sheep.
“But today, the government has reformed the practice so it has become inconvenient for us to rear sheep. They have divided the land accordingly. So, sheep here can graze on pastures in Khaling Gewog only.”
The Dzongkhag Livestock Office also agreed on the number of sheep decreasing in Merag over the years. The office, however, has plans to revive the farming practice. Recently, during the visit of the Prime Minister, the people of the gewog also received 60 sheep.

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