Yak Farming In Haa, Bhutan Is Becoming A Vanishing Trade

Email

Once an important source of livelihood for the people in Uesu Gewog, yak farming has seen its popularity wane over the years as younger generation opt for easier means of livelihood.

(Source: Intrepid Travel)

 

By Samten Dolkar | BBS

About three decades ago, nearly 50 households in Uesu Gewog, Haa practiced yak farming. Today, only six families do so.

64-year-old Tshultrim Dorji from the gewog has been herding yaks for 31 years. He and his family own a total of 69 yaks.

Tshultrim Dorji spends six warmer months up in the mountains of Haa herding family yaks and only moves down to his village as it gets colder as winter approaches. It’s a day-and-half’s journey for this trip.

 

 

Source: Raonline.ch

 

“It’s difficult to herd yaks at my age but I still manage. It would be a pity to sell them off. All our earnings come from it,” he said.

Difficulty in finding successors for the yak farming trade

Once an important source of livelihood for the people in Uesu Gewog, yak farming has seen its popularity wane over the years as younger generation opt for easier means of livelihood.

 

Yak Butter from Bhutan wrapped in leaves for storage

Source: A J Heath Photography

 

With age catching up with him, Tshultrim Dorji wants to put the family yaks in the care of his children. However, his children who desire a more comfortable life, are not keen to take on his yak farming trade.

He is not the only person to face this dilemma, Tshultrim Dorji’s situation mirrors that of other yak herding families in Uesu and other gewogs of Haa.

Thoughts about yak farming from a young man’s perspective

His son-in-law, Penpo Tshering visits him every month with food supplies. He also thinks that yak farming is tough work and this is one of the reasons why young people like him are apprehensive about taking it up.

 

Yak Chugo Cheese

Source: Wordpress/Yvonnestraessle

 

“I’m interested but it comes with many challenges. We wouldn’t be able to do like how our parents do. There are many things you have to be good at. Firstly, the distance to the herding place is too long. Secondly, the making of butter and ‘chugo (hardened cheese) ’ are important parts of yak farming, without which the practice wouldn’t be complete or profitable,” Penpo Tshering said.

Tshultrim Dorji hopes that the government will take steps to ensure the survival of yak farming as an integral part of the lives of the highlanders. And hope really is what keeps Tshultrim and others like him going for now.

 

This article first appeared in BBS and has been edited for the Bhutan Times.

 


Related Posts

Bhutan Soul Farmers Aims To Be A Model Of Soulful...

Bhutan Soul Farmers’ basic tenet is the sufficiency economy philosophy promulgated by King Bhumibol Adulyadej of...

Sep 24, 2018 11:24

A Farmer In Tsirang, Bhutan Learnt The Ropes Of Managing A Kiwi...

Besides kiwi, one can also find avocado, dragon fruit, ground apple, strawberry, cardamom and citrus fruits among others...

Jul 25, 2018 09:03

Dairy Farmer In Bhutan Sells Jersey Cow Milk Which Yields Good...

Sonam has four cross jersey cows, three of which are milking and he is able to sell more than 30 litres of milk every...

Jun 25, 2018 09:11

Tsirang’s Farmers Grow Broom Grass To Combat Landslide

Coinciding with the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought on June 17, the Tsirang forest division planted at...

Jun 21, 2018 18:26

Community Based Care Centre Seeks To Establish Commercial Flower...

The community based care centre also offers a range of services to individuals and families infected and affected by HIV...

Jun 11, 2018 14:27

Heading To Haa, Bhutan For The Summer Festival? Here Are Some...

Savour the most delectable cuisine from the province of Haa in Bhutan.

Jul 13, 2018 14:54

Latest

News

Bhutan Advocates Effective And Robust Implementation Of The Paris Agreement At COP24

The delegation from Bhutan expressed concern over the lack of consensus to consider scientific facts presented at the Conference.

Dec 18, 2018 14:19

Discover The Transformation Of Samtse On Bhutan’s 111th National Day Celebrations

“The most remote gewog is now connected with roads,” said Man Bir Gurung of Norgaygang.

Dec 17, 2018 20:07

Features

Endangered One-Horned Rhinoceros Spotted At Royal Manas National Park In Bhutan

The one-horned rhinoceros was captured multiple times in a camera trap set up for tracking tigers.

Dec 16, 2018 12:33

73 Year Old Non-Formal Education Instructor Wants To Continue Teaching In Bhutan's Remote Villages

At 73, Serchung is one of the oldest non-formal education (NFE) instructors in Bhutan today.

Dec 16, 2018 01:09

Sports

Japanese Volunteers Taught Football Skills To Some Young Monks And Hope to Reach Out To All Other Monastic Institutions In Bhutan

Held on World Children’s Day on 20 November, the programme was spearheaded by the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV).

Nov 24, 2018 06:06

Female Archer Dorji Dema Hopes To Inspire More Women To Take Up Archery In Bhutan

Dorji Dema, a mother of three is among the first women in Bhutan to play in an archery tournament.

Nov 05, 2018 08:11

Business

JICA’s Horticulture Projects Benefit Farmers In Eastern Bhutan

The Agriculture Research and Development Centre’s Deputy Chief Horticulture Officer, Sonam Gyeltshen said that according to an impact...

Dec 13, 2018 22:16

Bhutan Expects Record Low Inflation In 2018

The nine-month average inflation rate this year was recorded at 2.61 percent, the lowest figure since 2004.

Dec 09, 2018 11:47

Travel

Lhop Widows From Samtse, Bhutan Keep Their Culture Of ‘Duk Tsho Hang’ Alive

There is a thriving custom among the Lhops – women are not allowed to wear ornaments after their partners die.

Dec 08, 2018 22:08

Bhutan Received 71,417 International Visitors In 2017; Singapore, USA And Japan In Top 10 List

In 2017, Bhutan received 71,417 international visitors and the revenue earned was USD 79m, the highest arrival and revenue since 2012.

Dec 03, 2018 11:25

Lifestyle

‘The Raven Tells A Story’ – Book Dedicated To Bhutan’s 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck Launched

The book was written by Her Royal Highness Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck.

Dec 17, 2018 15:47

Bhutanese Who Has Worked In New York And Singapore, Sells Artisanal Bread Via Instagram

Jamsel Tshering Gyaltshen decided to choose a future in the food industry after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New...

Dec 16, 2018 07:45

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!