PM applauds success of farmers’ cooperatives

Midterm Review 3 March, 2011 – A farmer’s cooperative and 32 dairy groups with two milk-processing units were formed.
Some 16 poultry groups and 28 individual private poultry farms produced 325 percent more eggs from over 13,000 dozens a year ago to 59,000.

The dzongkhag has over 21,000 livestock including 10,953 yaks. Two piggery groups have been formed. All together, farmers have sold dairy, piggery, and poultry products worth Nu 64M in the past two years.

So read the Trashigang dzongkhag’s success report presented at the midterm review yesterday at Rangjung higher secondary school, following which Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley applauded the achievements.

“You’ve done a good job and now should continue doing the same,” he said. The more important thing, he said, was that farmers formed many groups in renewable natural resource sectors.

“People working in groups is a very good practice, especially in Bhutan, where we adhere great importance to GNH,” Lyonchhoen said. “It promotes cooperation and harmony within the people.”

Some 17 groups were formed each in agriculture and forestry involving 690 and 1627 households respectively.

He said Bhutan’s development was different from other countries, in that the focus not on individual prosperity, but in promoting development of the whole. Besides helping farmers earn income jointly, he said, it strengthened the bond among people.

“I urge you to make more such groups,” he said. Lyonchhoen gave upgrading Thrimshing community primary school to middle secondary a go ahead, against it being dropped, as reported at the review.

The Nu 57.89M school was one of the major activities proposed to drop from the plan.

While Thrimshing gup, Dungpa, Kangpar and Thrimshing MP Choki Wangmo and the dzongkhag education officers submitted the need for the middle secondary school in the dungkhag, education secretary Sangay Zam said it does not meet the criteria.

Trashigang education officer Dorji Passang said the construction would take at least 30 months. “It can’t be completed in the current plan,” he said, given that only two years remain of the plan.

“There wouldn’t be enough children in the community for the long term enrolment in the school,” Sangay Zam said.

She said that building more schools could strain the ministry’s already limited resources, and compromise on the delivery of quality education.

Lyonchhoen said the government emphasised improving existing schools.

“Our country is expected become a knowledge-based society,” he said. “Anyway, it seems there would be enough students, so we should construct the school.”

Thrimshing gup Ngawang Dorji said it was shocking that the school was dropped from the plan, but is pleased with the outcome. “We’re happy that the upgradation will go ahead as in the plan,” he said.

Within the dzongkhag’s midterm report was the number of households benefiting from road connections.

Of the 8,438 households, 6,127 are within an hour’s walk from the nearest road. About 28 farm roads spanning some 198km are complete and 24 more of 135km are under construction.

While six irrigation channels have been constructed, 11 have been renovated.

Of 15 gewogs, 13 are electrified and the remaining would be done by June this year.

The dzongkhag has 95.38 percent rural water supply coverage, 93.66 percent mobile network coverage and 74.3 percent of the population is involved in agriculture.

Trashigang dzongkhag has achieved 54 percent of the total outlay in the current plan.

By Tshering Palden

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