Chuff-cutters make life easier for farmers

Richen Yangzom from Lingabi village, Gangzor under Lhuentse used to spend more than two hours every day to chop a bundle of Napier grass for her cattle but after she learnt to use chuff-cutter machines, life has become easier and work simpler.

Now she can chop a huge bundle of Napier grass within minutes with the machine.

Rinchen Yangzom says: “I am seeing this technology for the first time and I learnt it could be very useful for a dairy farmer like me”.

The Dzongkhag Livestock Sector, Lhuentse conducted a training for 32 dairy farmers including 23 females and nine males on the use of the chuff-cutter machines as part of an awareness program on fodder conservation technology.

With the machine in place, Rinchen Yangzom hopes that she would get higher milk yield by producing sufficient feed for her cattle.

Agay Thinley Namgay, a 63-year-old says that the machine is a blessing. The only person in the house with nobody to look after him, he take cares of the family farm land by himself. “It is difficult to work at this age and I am very thankful to our government for understanding the needs of a farmer like me,” he said.

The program on chuff-cutter machines educated farmers on how to conserve locally available feed resources adopting ensilaging technique of feed conservation and thereby reducing the winter fodder shortage in the locality.

“It is a funny looking machine,” laughed Agay Thinley “but it does not matter as long as it serves it purposes.”

During 2016-17, the sector procured 10 chuff-cutter machines on a cost-sharing basis of 80:20 from Commercial Agriculture and Resilient Livelihoods Enhancement Programme (CARLEP) and dairy farmer groups respectively.

To ensure the proper use of those machines, the sector invited a resource person from the Dzongkhag Livestock Sector, Trashigang to demonstrate the machine’s usage. CARLEP funded the training. The main goal is to sustainably increase small farm holders’ income and reduce poverty.   Today, more than 50 households have benefited from these machines.

To make sufficient feed resources for dairy cattle, the Dzongkhag Livestock Sector, Lhuentse will continue to procure chaff-cutter machines and initiate the same program in the near future.

Pema Seldon from  Gangzor, Lhuentse