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Yak farming attracts youths in Dhading

Dhading, March 14, 2017: Youths in the northern part of Dhading have been attracted towards traditional occupation of raising yak. With abundant pastures, the northern belt of Dhading offers plenty of opportunities for farmers to raise yaks.

Besides, dairy products in the region command higher prices, making yak raising one of the most sought-after businesses.

“One can earn up to Rs60,000 a year selling yak milk,” said Jas Thapa of Tipling–5. “Items like cheese and chhurpi (Nepali hard cheese) have a big market in Kathmandu and other nearby districts.”

Jas’ father Jhyappa Thapa has been raising Yak for a long time. Having expanded his father’s farm from 18 yaks to 40, Thapa now makes a lucrative income. He earns around Rs400,000 selling cheese and Nepali hard cheese. He also trades in yaks; the animal sells for over Rs60,000 per her.

Dinesh Ghale is another youth who has been doing brisk business through Himali Chhurpi Industry. Making good use of yak milk available in the region, his industry produces 15-20 quintals of hard cheese annually. According to Ghale, hard cheese sells at as high as Rs500 per kilo in Kathmandu. He also owns a farm with 18 yaks.

Tipling that boarders Tibet, China in the north and Rasuwa in the east is a popular destination for raising yak. The village, which had just 200 yaks until a decade ago, now has more than 400 yaks in 35 farms.

A place called Narachet is considered the most suitable grazing land for yak in Tipling. Located at an altitude of 4,500 metres, it takes two days to take yak to Narachet.

According to Devendra Bhagat, head of District Livestock Service Office, Dhading, the government agency has allocated Rs500,000 in the current fiscal year for facilitating yak farmers and businesses. “We aim to provide subsidy to the yak farmers in order to promote businesses dependent on it,” Bhagat said.

By Harihar Singh Rathour