STAFF REPORTER | Thimphu
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the House of Tengri Limited, United Kingdom and the Department of Livestock under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests on a technical collaboration in the field of yak fiber industry development in Bhutan on 20 October.
Tengri limited is a specialized luxury brand committed to innovating and creating unique natural products by sourcing the rarest fibres from the remotest parts of the world. They work with communities to ensure an ethical, transparent and sustainable supply chain, business and product development to ensure relevance and unique positioning in a crowded global marketplace.
The MoU is aimed to offer young people and current yak herder’s family, cooperatives and yak federation a long-term economic stability and opportunities in yak herding, through establishment of long-term global trade relationships for Bhutan with international markets and consumers.
The areas of collaboration will be on establishing long-term market access for Bhutan’s yak fibre, exchange program between officials of two parties, infrastructure and economic development of yak fibre industry and train herder families in the production, collection and sales of yak fibre as niche products through a viable business model, supply chain and operations among many others.
During the signing of the MoU, Dr.Tashi Yangzome Dorji, Director of Department of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture and Forest highlighted the importance of traditional age-old practices of yak farming which is declining despite lots of potential for entrepreneurship development in particular fibre industry in the highlands districts of Bhutan. Currently, the yak population stands at 38,642 heads owned by about 897 households.
She also emphasized the challenges of sustaining the unique way of life of the highlanders, and needs of the government interventions to promote and sustain mountain livelihood. It is mentioned that the signing of this MoU is timely and the goodwill and collaboration between two parties which is intended to bring positive impacts on sustaining livelihood of highland communities
The CEO and the founder of the House of Tengri Limited of United Kingdom, Nancy Johnson, highlighted that the Tengri is a long-term project and works with different stakeholders – governments, policies and nature focusing on the sustenance of livelihood and environment. She also said that her company represents nature, animals and people that care for nature.
The Director of Department of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and the CEO and the founder of the House of Tengri Limited, United Kingdom led the signing ceremony in presence of officials from the Department of National Highland Development Program, Bumthang as a first step to strengthen the yak fibre industry in the country