DHADING, Oct 4: Ruby valley located in northern Dhading is a place where most of the farmers are engaged in yak farming. A farmer here rears anything between 10 to 50 yaks.
Yak farming is like a traditional profession for the residents of Tipling village, and they have been continuing the profession as there is no other option for livelihood and the area does not have good agricultural prospect. Nevertheless, yak farming has provided employment to many locals, and has made them economically self-reliant.
A dairy located at Pasang of Ruby valley collects yak milk every day from the farmers, from which it produces butter, hard cheese, and cheese and sends them to the market. "We use a modern machine that the factory bought recently. It has enabled us to make optimum use of milk and its products," said Dinesh Ghale, dairy operator.
"The products used to be rancid when we did not have the machine," he said, "It saves us time, and we can ensure that milk does not go wasted. So we earn good money out of our products. A total of 200 liters of milk is collected here daily."
Dinesh currently has 35 yaks in his farm. He said all his neighbors are involved in yak farming because of which he is also engaged in the profession. "There is no other source of income, we are involved in yak farming because it is easier for us," he said, "Yaks give milk both in the morning and in the evening. I have my own factory so it is convenient." Ghale's family members help him in rearing yaks.
Yak gives milk for nine months a year. Due to over production and no market, farmers used to throw away milk and its products. But nowadays, farmers are happy with the profession as the products are getting good market price. Farmers that operate factories earn as high as Rs 300,000 to Rs 600,000 monthly.
The farmers using modern equipment have started sending their products in the competitive market. Man Bahadur Thapa, a dairy operator, said that the demand has increased as the products are of better quality due to use of equipment. "The government has also extended help for the factories operating in Chauri Kharka," he said. "However, we have not been able to handle the market as per the demand."
Veterinary Hospital and Livestock Service Expert Center, under assistance from the provincial government, has provided yak farmers and dairy factories operating in the high hilly areas that produce cheese and hard cheese along with other dairy products with modern equipment this year. Few years ago, the farmers used to produce 10 to 15 tons of hard cheese annually but the production had come down to 3 to 4 tons of late. Modern machine was brought to help boost production. "The machine has made it easier for the farmers," Thapa added.
Nepali traders collect cheese, hard cheese, ghee, and export them to China's trading centers like Kerung and Kathmandu. Yak farmers are earning profits after they have started operating dairy factories.