Yoghurt processing unit provides market for livestock farmers of Pemathang, SJ

In Samdrup Jongkhar, a yoghurt-processing unit set up recently by a couple for their son who is half-paralyzed has provided the local livestock farmers with a platform to sell their milk and livestock products. The couple have set up the unit in Phuentshogthang Gewog as a means to secure their son’s future.

Residents of Pemathang Gewog have started selling over 50 litres of milk every day to the yoghurt-processing unit.

“It is beneficial for people like us, we sell milk there. But they don’t buy our milk on Saturday and Sunday. They take it whenever they require,” said Tashi Zangmo, a resident.

“I think it is convenient as we don’t have to go anywhere to sell our milk,” said Tendel, another resident.

“We used to sell milk in the market. It is convenient to sell milk at the yogurt processing unit although they don’t buy milk every day,” said Norbu Zangmo, who is also a resident.

Sangay Lhamo and her husband set up the unit investing more than Nu 1.2 M.

The couple has faced numerous challenges since their eldest son’s paralysis three years ago including financial constraints and limited opportunities for their paralyzed son’s employment. They have four children.

Determined to find a solution, they decided to utilize their resources and establish the yogurt-processing unit in Phuentshogthang Gewog.

Prior to this venture, Sangay and Gempo worked at the Punatshangchu project, where they learned how to make yoghurt from one of the yoghurt processing units at Bajo in Wangdue Phodrang.

The couple believes that the establishment of the yoghurt-processing unit not only helps sustain them financially but also provides a future for their paralyzed son.

“We won’t be with him forever, we can’t say, he may die first or we will die first. If anything happens to us, he can recruit people to work under him and sustain by running this unit,” said Sangay Lhamo.

“We are not doing this temporarily. He cannot work but money is important and if he has the money, he can sustain himself by employing workers at the unit,” said Gempo Dorji.

Their paralyzed son, 21-year-old TashiNorbu, also believes that the yogurt-processing unit will help the family sustain.

“Right now, my parents do all the work of making yoghurt.  I think I will be able to look after customers and do some accounting work.”

They started producing yogurt three months ago and currently, they are only able to earn enough to pay the house rent and bank loan.

“Right now, it is not going well due to the onset of the cold season. I plan to market it in the Gyalsung project and schools out here. So, I am hoping for the best,” added Sangay Lhamo.

Apart from yoghurt, they sell livestock products like cheese and butter.

Kinley Wangchuk, Samdrup Jongkhar

Edited by Phub Gyem

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