30 November Punakha. His Excellence the Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo inaugurated the 3km Pateri irrigation channel from Ngalachen to Pateri in Kabjisa, Punakha dzongkhag. The irrigation is to benefit some 43 household comprising of around 100 acres of wetland (Chuzhing). The initiation was in line with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest’s (MoAF) objective to achieve rice self-sufficiency. The Ministry aims to achieve at least 65% to 70% rice self-sufficiency by the end of 11th Five Year Plan. This project costing of Nu.7.526 Million was funded by the World Bank.
Pateri Chiwog in Punakha has always been dependent on seasonal rainfall for several years for the cultivation of their crops. The little irrigation water available was not enough for the paddy cultivation. Correspondingly in 2008 to 2009 Pateri suffered with no rainfall and almost no yield. Hence Pateri gup in his welcome speech highlighted that, as a result they had to leave acres of land fallow without paddy cultivation. He added ‘it was the year when we even suffered from poverty.’ With the help of Dasho Dzongdha and Agriculture Ministry, Pateri gup said they had received wheat and vegetable seeds which had helped them with their sustainability.
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