According to the Chief of Livestock Department Towchu Rabgay, if the situation in the country prolongs there will be an animal feed issue since all the raw materials for processing the feeds has to be imported and come through the border, but at the moment Phuentsholing is declared as a red zone.
He said, “For at least two weeks we have enough egg and products but after this we can say nothing because we are already facing the issue of feeds and when there is no feed it may also lead to the death of hens.”
He said at the best the eggs and dairy products could be stretched to last a month.
“At the moment our concern is the feed for livestock. Karma feed is in Phuentsholing and Phuentsholing is under red zone, so our truckers who are bringing the feeds are stranded in Pasakha and Phuentsholing. When they come they have to follow the Covid-19 guidelines and it will take time. However, today we are receiving some feeds and we are hoping that these feeds will be distributed within one to two days but if the situation continues there will be an issue,” he said.
He said that there are some raw materials to process the feeds for now and the department is working with the local feed agencies to collect local raw materials and produce it in the country.
However, he said that since the raw materials are imported it will be difficult to bring it in the country due to the pandemic.
“The challenge is that in such a situation human food items comes first and then only the surplus goes as raw materials for animals. We import the raw materials from West Bengal and Assam and everything has to be routed through border areas,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said that in every dzongkhags, there is a livestock sector and they coordinate everything and even in the gewogs there are livestock extension officers who collect the products and bring it to their respective dzongkhags and then through dzongkhags they inform the department. The department collects all the products and bring it to the capital and hands it over to Bhutan for Livestock Department Corporation and BLDC distributes it to Thimphu city.
“Till date we haven’t faced any problem since everything is being well coordinated from the dzongkhags level. In the capital we are firstly do door to door service based on demand and we are also going to the places where it has not been covered and for this we have also pulled all the central vehicles and they are involved in dropping these products. And again if it doesn’t cover the places we have identified two private vehicles,” he said.
He also added that people are complaining that the products don’t reach on time but the situation in BLDC is that they are receiving more than 5,000 calls in a day and only a few people are there who are handling different tasks like packaging, receiving the orders and delivering them while maintaining social distancing and avoiding gatherings.
“We are very mindful of all these things and we are doing the best that we can. And on top of that we are also deputing vehicles in different zones along with the vegetables vehicles,” he said.
He pointed out that in some areas they already received at least one tray of eggs and butter and a packet of cheese. And this modality will go on here after.
He said once as government identifies shops in the zones and it comes into force they will deposit all the products to the respective shops in different zones, so that people can avail it easily.
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