Tshering Namgyal | Lhuentse
In an attempt to revive sheep rearing, Lhuentse dzongkhag distributed 120 sheep to 15 households in Ney chiwog, Lhuentse last month.
“Initially, I was kind of excited but it’s a difficult task as all of us are new to this and we lack knowledge about how to rear,” Tashi Tshomo, 37, one of the herders said. They were briefed by a focal person from Bumthang sheep breeding centre.
She is concerned about how the animals would survive in summer. “Because it gets hot here,” she said.
Another villager, Sithar Lhamo, said rearing sheep was risky because dogs often attack the sheeps. The animals are also susceptible to infections in summer. “I’m not sure if we could make a profit but am hopeful we could in future,” she said.
Lhuentse assistant district livestock officer, Phurpa Tshering, said it was expected to help generate cash income for the farmers through the sell of wool besides providing farmyard manure.
He said, Ney chiwog once used to rear sheep.
The national sheep breeding centre in Bumthang supplied the animals. It will buy the wool once production starts.
Lhuentse livestock officials said these could adapt in areas up to the elevation of 1,800 meters above sea level.
He said the sheep were supplied with the funding from a global environment facility project under UNDP.
The dzongkhag would open a livestock extension center in the chiwog to boost the livelihoods of the farmers most of whom depend on dairy and poultry production.
Phurpa Tshering said the contract to construct the center was awarded recently and would complete in six months. The centre is expected to open within this fiscal year.
The centre was approved as the chiwog has a large number of villagers who mainly depend on dairy farming with a large herd of livestock.
Phurpa Tshering said the cattle population exceeded more than 300 including over 50 improved cross-bred cattle. He added that the dzongkhag has supplied a free breeding bull and there were around 20 applications for demand received for subsidised rates this time.