𝟑 𝐌𝐚𝐲, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑: Today, the new Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) plant at the National Dairy Development Center in Yusipang was inaugurated by His Excellency, the Hon’ble Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. The ceremony was graced by the presence of distinguished guests, including the Deputy Chief of Mission from the Embassy of India in Bhutan, the Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Director of the Department of Livestock, and other officials from the Embassy of India, the Government of India, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock.
The plant was installed with budgetary support from the GoI PTA in the 12th five-year plan.
𝐁𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐝𝐫𝐨𝐩 𝐈𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐧 𝐈𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐋𝐍𝟐
The National Dairy Development Centre (NDDC) under the Department of Livestock is the apex body for dairy development in the country, and with 78% of Bhutanese farmers rearing cattle, it represents a significant opportunity for rural employment and income generation and its contribution to food and nutrition security. Over the years, the NDDC has achieved significant growth in the number of crossbred cattle in the country, which has led to a drastic increase in milk production. In particular, from 2018 to 2021, there was an increase from 49,652 MT to 54,654 MT.
This has been achieved through the use of artificial insemination (AI) using imported conventional semen, sexed-sorted semen, and pedigree-selected semen produced at this center, along with the production of liquid nitrogen (LN2) for cryopreservation and transportation of frozen semen for field use across the country. AI technology, along with the production of LN2, has enabled the center to achieve significant genetic upgradation of cattle with higher milk yields to enable recipient farmers to achieve higher income generation through the sale of milk.
In Bhutan, an average of 8,970 artificial inseminations (AI) are carried out annually, with around 3,500 progenies born annually. Through the use of AI technology, the population of crossbred cattle has increased from 72,000 heads in 2012 to 117,141 heads in 2021. This would not have been possible without the production and use of LN2 for storage and delivery of the frozen semen for field use. This highlights the crucial and critical need of LN2 in improving access to AI services for breed upgradation and intensification.
With the MoAL gearing towards national food and nutrition security and a target to increase milk production to 73,983 MT in 2029, it is imperative that a constant and consistent flow of LN2 is maintained throughout the country. The new plant, along with the old plant, has the capacity to produce a combined total of 7,612 liters of LN2 in 44 days at full operational capacity, enabling the NDDC to meet the increasing demand for LN2 for field usage, make the AI program more viable, enhance AI performance, and accelerate the momentum for dairy development in the country.
It is expected that with this increased capacity of LN2 production, the development of the dairy sector in the country will be able to achieve even greater strides and make a significant contribution to the income of farmers.