Dophuchen youth take up agriculture business

Youths picking up agriculture business in Bhutan

Youths learning oyster mushroom farming (Source: Samtse Dzongkhag)

Seven young job seekers in Dophuchen gewog, a mix of educated farmers and two who left jobs in Thimphu have formed a business group to sell local agriculture produce at the RNR sale counter.

Two elderly men are talking over plates of steaming momos at the newly opened centre by the roadside at Drukje hill. Next to them are displayed a mix of fresh vegetables including radish, Spanich, Dhal, Cyclanthera Pedata (Olachoto), doma, home-made pickles, and bottles of butter milk.

The centre was opened last week in a modest ceremony attended mostly by their parents and well – wishers. Each of the members contributed Nu 10,000 as seed money to operate the business.

The group bought electrical appliances worth Nu 50,000, the drungkhag RNR sector supplied furniture and two refrigerators to store dairy products. The members collect agriculture produce from the villages and their homes to sell at the counter.

Chura Muni, 22, from Dorokha Dara graduated from Khuruthang TTI in 2015 and worked in Big Cola for a year. “I had to return home to look after my ageing parents,” he said. “Now I want to do business to make some income.”

They grow agriculture products and also collect from others in the villages. “We hope to lease government land and carry out commercial agriculture,” he said.

Nirmal Adhikari, 21, completed Class XII from Gelephu Higher Secondary School in 2015 and a six-month computer course.

He said that agriculture officials in the drungkhag have been helpful in establishing the group. “We don’t have jobs, so we had to do something to earn a living,” Nirmal said.

The group, comprising mostly of class XII and X graduates, is learning to prepare meals, and snacks such as momo, from a friend.

Kalpana Timsina, a student of Utpal School in Paro volunteered to teach them during her winter vacation. “I want to help them as they are trying to do something instead of looking for jobs,” she said.

The group has big plans for the future. They are waiting for dairy equipment worth Nu 0.6 million to arrive. “Once we have the instruments, we’ll start processing milk and also supply them beyond the drungkhag.”

Members said they have plenty of customers within the drungkhag including civil servants, two schools with 1,056 students, and construction sites.

“Come Spring and we’ll supply vegetables and dairy products to the two schools in the gewog,” said another member, Diliram Rizal, who is the chairperson of a dairy group, Dangreyboog-Ngagang Sanam Magyuel Sogjog Nyamley Tshogdey with 99 members.

Dophuchen gup Padam Bahadur Rai said youth unemployment has become a problem for the gewog unlike in the past.

“Some of them wait for white collar jobs, and later return home,” the gup said.

“We’ve between 20 and 30 young people in the gewog.”

He said that the gewog and drungkhag officials are encouraging the youth to form RNR groups or apply for REDCL projects.

Nirmala Rizal, 19, is the youngest and lone female member of the group. The beautician had left her job in Thimphu and return to her village last month. “There is support if the youth is willing,” she said. “There is plenty of opportunity.”

Nirmal Adhikari said that despite in its initial stage, business is running well. “Hopefully, we can make some income and help our farmers too in the process.”

by Tshering Palden, Samtse
This article first appeared on Kuensel 

Related Posts

Denmark to Support Bhutan’s Organic Agriculture

Bhutan officially launched the policy for organic farming in 2007 and proclaimed the intention to become a fully organic...

Oct 24, 2017 14:50

RMA and Banks agree to prioritize lending for Agricultural...

One of the key aspects of His Majesty’s National day address was on the opportunities for the youth in commercial...

Jun 07, 2017 15:00

Top Five Business Ideas Bag Grants at National Start-up Weekend

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said during the prize awarding ceremony that although the government has been promoting...

Mar 20, 2018 22:53

Bhutan National Start-Up Weekend Begins

The MoIC Minister DN Dhungyel said that there is a need to change the expectations of youth who thinks that the...

Mar 17, 2018 12:05

400 More Power Tillers to be Distributed

“The Agriculture Ministry not only procures the power tillers, but they follow-up by making sure that people are trained...

Mar 11, 2018 22:36

From Potato to Buckwheat

Phurba, 65, from Gyatsa shifted to cultivating potato recently, after decades of cultivating buckwheat. He now regrets...

Mar 07, 2018 20:29



Bhutan Observes International Day of Happiness

The International Day of Happiness was first observed on March 20, 2013 after the United Nations General Assembly selected the particular...

Mar 21, 2018 22:45

Commemorative bank notes featuring Bhutan's Crown Prince to be sold in Singapore

One million pieces are available worldwide and Singapore will have a "limited allocation".

Mar 20, 2018 17:10


Bhutanese Journal of Agriculture Launched

The journal is published by the Agriculture Research and Extension Division of the Department of Agriculture and will be now an annual...

Mar 18, 2018 22:31

Conserving Traditional Bhutanese Architecture

“The old buildings are important as a testimony of the past. It is not only important to preserve these houses, but also to encourage the...

Mar 15, 2018 11:47


Bhutan out of ASEAN Women’s T20 Open Tournament

Bhutan had the chance of finishing among the top three teams with a total of three points after playing four matches. At the finals,...

Mar 14, 2018 17:22

National Cricket Team Wins First International Title

The National cricket team defeated Thailand by three runs in the finals to win the championship. A total of four countries China, Bhutan,...

Mar 02, 2018 18:14


Top Five Business Ideas Bag Grants at National Start-up Weekend

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said during the prize awarding ceremony that although the government has been promoting entrepreneurship,...

Mar 20, 2018 22:53

Bhutan National Start-Up Weekend Begins

The MoIC Minister DN Dhungyel said that there is a need to change the expectations of youth who thinks that the government is the main...

Mar 17, 2018 12:05


Nyungne - A Fascinating Winter Ritual

“Winters can get real desolate here and nyungne is the only festival that makes the place lively,” he said. “It was so good to see everyone...

Mar 10, 2018 21:25

Pilgrimage to Beyul Langdra - The Hidden Treasure of the Bull Cliff

It is believed that Guru Rinpoche had hidden more than 60 sacred treasures in and around the cliff to be discovered by prophesied treasure...

Feb 24, 2018 13:16


Paday’s Bistro

The menu is quite varied, ranging from continental dishes including pasta and steak to more ‘Asian style’ food such as a variation of the...

Mar 22, 2018 21:01

Schools and Institutes Use Composting to Reduce Landfill Waste

Developed by Koji Takakura, a Japanese national, the composting method has been introduced to more than 60 countries.

Mar 19, 2018 21:54

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!