The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Surketham Dairy Cooperative Limited (SDCL), and Nepal Dairy Pvt. Ltd (NDPL) signed a tripartite agreement on March 23, 2022, to promote a yak dairy enterprise that can sustain age-old yak herding culture in the hills of Eastern Nepal. The agreement was signed by Director General Pema Gyamtsho on behalf of ICIMOD, Heramba Bahadur Rajbhandari on behalf of Nepal Dairy Pvt. Ltd., and Mait Bahadur Liwang on behalf of Surketham Dairy Cooperative.
The agreement, also known as a Letter of Intent, was signed with the active participation of the Kanchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KLCDI) under ICIMOD. KLCDI approached NDPL for partnership in processing, product diversification, and market supplies of yak products.
The main objective of the agreement was to protect the yak and prevent the extinction of the yak breeding business. According to a press release issued by ICIMOD, the agreement aims to develop a lucrative and sustainable source of income for rural youths by developing a viable yak-based business model.
People in the Himalayas have reduced interest in yak herding business because of challenges due to the climate change and socio-economic barriers. Pema Gyamtsho, the Director General of ICIMOD said that the LoI signed will help to encourage youths of Kanchenjunga Area to engage in yak herding business.