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Yak cheese output hits 33.9 tonnes in Rasuwa

- BALRAM GHIMIRE, RASUWA
Cheese and butter made from Yak’s milk are popular with Nepali people and foreign tourists alike

Dec 23, 2017-The state-owned Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) has produced 33.9 tonnes of cheese and 11.7 tonnes of butter made from yak’s milk from its plants located in four different locations in Rasuwa district this year. Chandanbari, Dhunchhe, Gatlang and Langtang are the key cheese and butter producing centres of the DDC. Cheese and butter made from Yak’s milk are popular with Nepali people and foreign tourists alike.

It is also a major income generating activity of the people in the mountain region. These dairy commodities have huge export potential in Asia and overseas markets. Established in 1970, Gosainkunda Cheese Production Centre in Chandanbari is Nepal’s biggest cheese producing centre. “The centre has produced 8.4 tonnes of cheese and 3 tonnes of butter this year,” said Chattra Bahadur Tamang, chief of the centre. The centre is able to produce cheese for six months in a year before closing for winter.

“When the winter season begins, yaks are sent to lowland areas. The factory is closed during this time,” he said. The centre collects milk from 15 yak sheds. Tamang said that the number of yak rearing farmers have been declining since last few years as the youth are walking away from the industry.

“They (youth) are not interested in rearing yak. It’s difficult for the old people to rear the animal,” he said. Cheese produced in Rasuwa is considered very tasty.

Another cheese producing centre in Dhunchhe has produced 11.5 tonnes of cheese and 3.8 tonnes of butter this year. Last year, this centre had produced 7.8 tonnes of cheese. Purna Bahadur Jirel, chief of the Dhunchhe centre, said that cheese production has increased significantly this year. The Dhunchhe centre collects milk from 39 yak sheds. He said that in the past years, the Dhunchhe centre used to collect 1,200 litres of milk daily from different farmers. “But now, the collection has dropped to 700 litres daily,” he said, adding that the number of yak farmers are decreasing.  Another cheese producing centre in Gatlang has produced 12 tonnes of cheese and 4 tonnes of butter this year. The centre collects milk from 38 yak sheds. Likewise, cheese production from the Langtang centre stood at 2 tonnes.

The centre has produced 800 kg of butter this year.  The DDC has fixed price of Rs1,400 for a kg of cheese, while a kg of butter costs Rs1,000. The DDC annual income from cheese business stands at Rs47.46 million. The annual income from butter stands at Rs11.75 million.  A small amount of the dairy products is consumed in Rasuwa.

Published: 23-12-2017 09:30

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