Bhutan Yak Federation (BYF) Meets to Share Success Story and Plan for the Future

20th May, 2022: The Bhutan Yak Federation 2nd General Assembly Meeting funded by Resilient Mountain Solution, ICIMOD was held in Dekyil Hotel, Bumthang w.e.f 19th to 20th May, 2022. The meeting was attended by chairpersons and members from 12 yak cooperatives across the country, the representatives from the Department of Agriculture Marketing and Cooperatives (DAMC), livestock officials from dzongkhags and geogs, officials from the National Highland Research and Development Centre (NHRDC), National Research and Development Centre for Animal Nutrition (NRDCAN) and Livestock Research and Extension Division (LRED), DoL.

The yak cooperatives shared their experiences and presented the work progress since the inception of the BYF and also highlighted the challenges faced through this journey. They highlighted the loss of yaks due to unusual snowfall however, the immediate interventions on the feed support to reduce the mortality has eased them from losing further. To provide guidance and assist the cooperatives in planning future activities, NHRDC and NRDCAN presented their strategic plan and targets to align in achieving the common goal of BYF. Some of the key development areas are identified as rangeland (tsamdro), Yak product diversification and yak genetic improvement.

The BYF through the cooperatives has identified and prioritized to produce one premium yak products under One Cooperative, One Product (OCOP) concept and at least one high end yak wool product by end of December 2022. The NHRDC will take a lead in yak fiber/wool collection and processing while similar technical assistance will be provided to develop the products for export quality in collaboration with Department of Agriculture and Marketing Cooperatives and Department of Small Cottage Industry. The BYF has also come up with a long term strategy document which will be put to Ministry of Agriculture and Forest for consultation with relevant stake holders and seeking the final endorsement.