Regional Cattle Breeding Centre, Bumthang

Background

Brown Swiss Farm, now re-coined the nomenclature to Regional Cattle Breeding Centre was initially established in 1974 with technical & financial assistance of Helvetas under the former โ€˜Rural Development Projectโ€™ with the aim to produce Brown Swiss Crossbred bulls to upgrade the indigenous cattle. Until the end of 7th Five Year Plan (FYP) period, it was functioning as one of the three components of National Horse and Brown Swiss Cattle Breeding Program (NH&BSCBP). From the beginning of 8th FYP period, it has been separated from NH&BSCBP and started to function independently on semi-commercial basis as a bull production unit. Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) has gradually withdrawn all the current expenditures other than personal emolument, travel for regular staff and small amount for maintenance of property. However, the government still support in major capital works. In fact, this is the only farm in the country functioning on semi-commercial basis successfully.

Brown Swiss Cattle Farm (BSCF) is located at an altitude of 2650 masl under Chokor Gewog of Bumthang Dzongkhag. It was established in 1974 through the financial and technical assistance of Helvetas with the aim to produce good quality Brown Swiss crossbred breeding bulls. The Brown Swiss Breeding bulls are distributed to temperate regions for cross breeding with native cattle breeds. Initially, the crossbreeding program started by importing eleven numbers of purebred Brown Swiss breeding bulls and two heifers from Patiala, India and crossing with 40 numbers of local cows. Later in 2005, eight numbers of Purebred Jersey Cows were introduced to study their adaptation and production potential in Bumthang.

With the passage of time and change in policy, the breed barrier policy was lifted in 1998. This resulted into radical shift in the preference of Jersey breed over Brown Swiss cattle by the farmers. Thereafter, the demand of Brown Swiss bulls started to decline over the period. However, farmers in Gogona (Wangdue), Sengore (Monggar) and some farmers in Bumthang continue to rear Brown Swiss cattle. Presently there are few still some demand for Brown Swiss crossbred cows and heifers by these farmers.

With the establishment of Domestic Airport in Bumthang the farm lost around 110 acres of prime Farmland along with the vital infrastructures viz. main office building, two dairy sheds, 360 MTs capacity silage tank, fertilizer cum agricultural store and feed store. Besides, considerable portion of arable farmland (more than 88 acres) were also lost for establishment of various institutes viz. NHRDC, Jakar, National Research and Development for Animal Nutrition (NRDCAN), Chief Forest Office (CFO), BAFRA Office, Dzongkhag Veterinary Office, Kharchu Dratshang and HM land kidu to Mr Gembo Tenzin and H.H Paedsheling Trulku.

Although, establishment of farm in new location at Lebi started during 11th FYP period but due to poor performance (poor work quality& delay construction) by the contractor, the work could not be completed. Implementation of various activities by Department of Civil Aviation has created numerous inconveniences for smooth operation of the farm activities including implementation of bio-security measures and residing in the farm compound.

In 2005, eight numbers of Jersey cows were introduced in the farm to study the performance of milk production and adaptation under Bumthang topographical and climatic conditions. Later, some more Jersey Cattle were transferred from National Sheep Breeding Centre (NSBC), Dechenpelrithang. Additional 65 numbers of cows/heifers were purchased from India and 19 heifers from Samdrup Jongkhar were purchased during the 11th FYP period. Crossbreeding of Black Angus with Brown Swiss cows on trial was also started and successfully six progenies were born. These crossbred animals are still existing in the farm and one of them is in first lactation.

Due to supply of 12 numbers of Brown Swiss heifers to the farmers of Sengore, Mongar during the FY 2014-2015 the farm didnโ€™t have adequate number of heifers in the stock for replacement of the older cows. Therefore, eight numbers of Brown Swiss crossbred heifers were purchased from the farmers of Tekorshong and Tamshing to replenish the stock of Brown Swiss females during the FY 2017-2018.

Vision and Mission

Striving to be the Nucleus farm for Jersey and Brown Swiss germplasm in the region

Produce high quality purebred Jersey and Brown Swiss cattle through application of advanced reproductive bio- technologies.

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