May 19, 2021

Two women-focused self-help groups from Uesu and Katsho communities in the Haa District excitedly received new coolers and a deep freezer last week.

Each cooler can store up to 100 liters of milk, 200-300 pieces of cheese, and 50-100 kgs of butter. The deep freezer will be used to collectively store 350 liters of dairy products such as cheese, butter, and yogurt. These supplies were provided to encourage dairy farmers to scale up the production of local dairy products.

“We are happy to say we can now increase the shelf life of our cheese and butter and safely transport our products to our local market,” stated a woman farmer who owns two cows. Apart from selling seasonal potatoes, the sale of dairy products is the most feasible source of income for this community as it can be produced throughout the year. The members shared their plans to further expand and diversify their dairy products starting with clarified butter (ghee).

The Bhutan Foundation and US Agency for International Development are working with the Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAOWE) to support women-led self-help groups across Bhutan. The goal of this program is to enhance local agriculture and livestock production and keep women farmers employed and out of poverty during the pandemic and beyond.