MPU improves livelihood of Shokshi livestock farmers in Samdrup Jongkhar

For livestock farmers across the country, especially in far-flung areas, a milk-processing unit is all it takes to improve their livelihoods. One such facility in Shokshi chiwog of Wangphu Gewog in Samdrup Jongkhar is transforming the lives of dairy farmers in the locality. Besides enhancing the quality of dairy products, the facility is providing farmers with better income opportunities, boosting the local economy. The milk-processing unit was set up in 2019. Since then dairy farmers in Sokshi chiwog have not faced problems in marketing dairy products. 

Karma Wangzom, a farmer in Shokshi, has been able to increase her income from rearing cattle after the establishment of the milk processing unit in her chiwog.

Her three milking cows produce 20 liters of milk every day, earning her about Nu 20,000 each month. Karma Wangzom is paid Nu 37 for a liter of milk.

Before the unit’s establishment, selling dairy products was a major challenge for Karma and other farmers rearing cattle. Now, with the facility, she enjoys a reliable market and steady income.

“We have to work hard, it has benefited us, and without a milk-processing unit we sometimes had to throw away milk when it gets spoiled,” said Karma Wangzom, livestock farmer.

“During summer, we faced problems in selling dairy products. Shopkeepers here do not buy from us as the roads often get blocked.  As a result, we do not produce much but still end up having excess as we cannot consume everything we produce. The dairy products used to get spoiled. The establishment of the unit has helped us a lot,“ said Thinley Dorji, another livestock farmer.

“It is helping us a lot. Before, the villagers here struggled to sell dairy products even when we took the produce to Samdrup Jongkhar. Now, it is convenient,“ said Sonam Norbu, who is also a livestock farmer.

The villagers sell fresh milk to the milk-processing unit operated by some villagers.

Then milk is processed into butter and cheese which are then sold in the locality and Samdrup Jongkhar town.

“We get orders for butter and cheese from everywhere. Villagers sell milk here and we produce butter and cheese. In three years milk processing unit made Nu 500,000 in profit which is distributed among the dairy farmers,” said Karma Wangdi, member secretary of the Milk Processing Unit.

The dairy farmers of Shokshi chiwog produce more than 200 litres of milk in a day.

Kinley Wangchuk, Samdrup Jongkhar

Edited by Phub Gyem 

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