English | Dzongkha Sunday, April 11, 2021

Nublang, a dying breed

Jul 31, 2011

Nublang, an indigenous cattle breed unique to Bhutan, is slowly disappearing.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, there are estimated 250,000 Nublangs. The actual figure may be much lower- around 20 percent.

In the past, the Nublangs were a symbol of wealth. They were prized for their strength and dairy products.

With the introduction of power tillers and high yielding breeds like jerseys, the Nublangs came to play a less important role. Their value decreased.

One of the few places where the Nublang is still found is Sombaykha Geog in Haa.

For the people of Sombaykha, the Nublangs are the main source of income.

Sangay Dorji, a villager, said “we can sell butter for Nu.150 a kilogram and a ball of cheese for Nu.10 right here in our village. In a week, we earn about Nu. 4000.”

Some families own around 20 Nublangs. A few own as many as 100 Nublangs. The people sell the dairy products in Sibsoo and Haa dzongkhag.

“The market depends on the location of pastureland. People living in Baysogang sell the produce in Samtse”

The government is taking various initiatives to ensure its survival like organising annual expos to showcase the cattle and forming a Nublang breeding association in Sombaykha. The government also provides Nublang bulls free of cost for breeding purposes.

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