Surjey Dhungyel, 25, is one of the few graduates who has taken up farming after completing college.
The 25 year old who has a Bachelors degree in Life Science from Sherubtse College is today a proud owner of a semi commercial dairy farm in Penjorling village in Samtse.
After college he availed a loan of Nu 1.5 million from Bhutan Development Bank and another Nu 0.3 million from relatives and friends to establish a dairy farm.
With the money he purchased 11 dairy cows and other equipment.
With the support from dzongkhag Livestock Sector Surjey cultivated improved pasture in a 20-acre fallow area.
He said initial milk production began in June 2016 with five jersey cows producing about 30 litres of milk, which is processed into butter and cheese. The highest producing cow provides 14 litres and the least 8 liters.
Morning milk is sold fresh and evening milk is churned into dairy products. He produces two kilograms of butter and thirty balls of cheese weighing approximately 150 grams each.
Surjey faces no shortage of customers for his products because of its reasonable price, quality and hygiene and he delivers produce to the residents along Belbotay-Sipsu Highway, Gola town and the army and police colonies.
His Cottage cheese ball sells at Nu. 20/ball and butter at Nu 350/kg. “Cheese is in high demand and advance bookings are also made,” Surjey Dhungyel said.
Currently his farm is managed by his parents and four labourers and he spends Nu. 24,000 on labour charges.
Surjey said that he makes Nu 42,000 a month excluding the loan repayment amount. This earning would be more than double the pay enjoyed by a civil servant of his age joining the government. Surjey has a plan to enhance his dairy production with better management plan and technical guidance from the Livestock Extension Office.
In future he also plans to construct silo storage to meet fodder shortage during lean season and also set up biogas plant to replace use of LPG and produce organic fertilizer for sale.
To help expand his dairy farm and mechanize his farm RNR Tashicholing has provided assistance on farm management including artificial insemination service and health care.
As of now his cattle are managed and fed with enough forage from his own the pasture, Karma Feeds and spent grain purchased from brewage factory in Pasakha.
This article was contributed by Chandra Ghalley for the Sonam Drupday Magazine of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.