Pemagatshel: A fodder plantation program was held on 16-18 May at the Tephu village under Nanong geog to cover most of the fallow and eroded lands with fodder slips of Napier and Guatemala. The cultivable lands were destroyed by excavation of newly constructed farm roads. The community was very happy as they planted fodder on 2 acres of land and they are hopeful that their land will not be eroded further once the fodder slips would grow.
Similarly, two days fodder plantation was also carried out at Thongsa chiwog at Chongshing geog on 19-20 May. Prior to plantation, farmers were briefed on the plantation methodologies by the feed and fodder focal person. The geog chairman, Pema Dorji said these fodder plantation program was timely when the geog is gearing towards dairy development and their lands are not stable and they have a plan to upscale the agricultural farming. Farmers were happy that besides increasing fodder resources in the vicinity, this program can also be a part of mitigation for soil erosion and landslides.
One of the senior villagers of Thongsa agreed that feed and fodder has been considered very important for the success of dairy farming. However, in our context people are very ambitious and farmers try to compromise with smaller pasture lands but rearing more cattle heads. ‘This system has resulted in lesser return from dairy farming despite its huge potential’, said Meymay Sangay.
While Abee Zangmo shared that although she aspires to produce enough fodder in their field, their small lands are used for agricultural crops. ‘Due to this, the fodder production is not a primary preference and dairy farming is lacking in the process’, Zangmo added.
The Dzongkhag Livestock Sector is also focusing to have enough feed and fodder resources for dairy farmers to improve production through proper fodder conservation technologies whereby silage making is a top priority. Many silo pits has been already constructed to address the fodder shortages in lean season. This year, farmers from Bartseri, Yurung and Nangmalam could earn a substantial amount from the sale of root slips and seedlings.
The program was organised with fund and technical guidance from the Regional Livestock Centre, Kanglung through CARLEP.
Reported by Yonten Dorji, Dzongkhag Veterinary Hospital, Pemagatshel
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