Khengrig Namsum Cooperative (KNC)
How young farmers improve livelihoods in Zhemgang and counter rural-urban migration
In August 2014, very committed and dedicated young farmers in Zhemgang founded Khengrig Namsum Cooperative (KNC). The overall objective is to improve the livelihoods of the people of Zhemgang Dzongkhag (district). The members – each with a minimum qualification of high school level education – represent all eight Gewogs (administrative blocks) of Zhemgang Dzongkhag.
KNC follows cooperative principles and values and operates within the framework of legislation for cooperatives issued by the Royal government of Bhutan. KNC has at present 16 members (nine women and seven men). Founder and current Chairperson Thinley Wangdi, is responsible for the overall planning, implementation and management of the cooperative under the directives of the Board of Directors (BoD), consisting of local farmers.
In 2017 KNC established a partnership with the non-profit Austrian branch of the Bhutan Network. Since then every year, within the Organic Farmers Exchange Programme (OFEP), co-sponsored by the Land Salzburg (local government of the province Salzburg in Austria), at least one KNC member is sponsored to travel to Austria for an organic farming study tour.
Bhutan Homestay supports KNC by promoting visits to the project location.