Goat cheese sees surge in demandFifteen years ago, Ashok Singh Thakuri, a local youth from Thaha Municipality, Makwanpur was considering foreign employment to make a living like many other youths of his age before deciding to go into the goat cheese business.
Fifteen years ago, Ashok Singh Thakuri, a local youth from Thaha Municipality, Makwanpur was considering foreign employment to make a living like many other youths of his age before deciding to go into the goat cheese business.
That decision has served him well as he earns more than Rs100,000 a month by selling his produce to hotels and stores in major cities.
Thakuri’s cheese producing centre at Chitlang of Makwanpur district has been supplying cheese to more than 20 hotels and restaurants in Kathmandu as well. There is high demand of goat cheese from the hotels where French tourists stay as they love goat cheese, according to Thakuri.
Thakuri with the help of a local NGO went to France to learn the methods of manufacturing goat cheese. In 2003 he started his enterprise with 12 goats and the cheese production centre established with the assistance from the French government.
His factory is producing more than 10 kg of goat cheese daily. Apart from supplying the goat cheese to big hotels in Kathmandu, Thakuri sell his produce from an outlet at Jamal in Kathmandu.
His factory is producing both hard and soft varieties of goat cheese. Currently, his produce is fetching Rs1,900 to 2,200 per kg.
At present, he is rearing 95 goats of various improved breeds at his farm for cheese production. The demand for his cheese is so high that he is unable to meet the demand with the milk produced by his goats. As a result, Thakuri has been purchasing 50 to 55 litres of goat milk from locals at Rs 60 per litres to meet the high demand for goat cheese. Five litres of milk is required to produce one kg of cheese.
Thakuri is not only making money for himself, but also providing employment to five locals who help him in rearing goats and producing cheese. Likewise, many farmers of the region have switched to goat rearing. As it is easier to rear goats with its milk fetching more money than that of cow and buffalo milk, many have stared rearing goats for milk production.
Apart from producing goat cheese, Thakuri is also providing home stay facility to tourists visiting his goat farm and cheese production centre. Of late, his home stay business has started to become an attraction to many domestic as well as foreign tourists.