May 23, Samtse: The Hon’ble Prime Minister for Bhutan, Tshering Tobgay inaugurated a 5 km Tsajinsa farm road (FR) in Pemaling geog, Samtse. Also present were the Hon’ble Agriculture Minister, Yeshey Dorji; Hon’ble Information and Communications Minister, DN Dhungyel and Members of Parliament along with the senior officials and beneficiaries.
The FR will benefit around 88 households from Tsajinsa A, Tsajinsa B, Lungsirma and Shingngama villages. It runs from Bowndara till Tsajinsa A via Tsajinsa B. According to Kesang Rinzin, the Geog Administration Officer (GAO), the FR is estimated to have cost Nu. 17.751 lakhs from the Geog Development Grant with some contribution from the Small Development Grant. ‘The road was earlier planned in 13-14 financial year but due to limited machineries available and shortage of budget, it could not be completed,’ the GAO shared.
There are around 8000 population in the geog who mainly depend on agriculture for their living. Cardamom is their main cash crop followed by ginger, oranges and vegetables while some also rear livestock. People have been facing difficult time in reaching their farm products to the nearest road point and getting materials transported to the geog. One of the beneficiaries shared that it used to take them 4 hours to reach the road point. Now with the road in place, it is expected to take less than an hour saving both their time and other inconveniences. The FR is also expected to provide them more opportunities in terms of market and other developmental activities.
To ensure the efficient use of FR, the geog will form a ‘FR farmer user group’ who will take care of FR after it is handed over to them, carry out a minor maintenance required and meet to discuss the FR related issues whenever required.
The GAO further shared that with the Tsajinsa FR, they have now five FRs in place, namely, 7 km Taley FR, 10 km Tachey FR, 8 km Chesopani FR and 10 km Chebju to Namgaycholing FR which is currently under construction.
Interacting with the geog people, the Prime Minister stated that the visit is being made to understand the ground realities including the progress and issues faced. He expressed his appreciation for the concerted efforts and cooperation extended by the geog people during the implementation of the developmental activities. He encouraged the people to make the best use of farm roads and work towards enhancing the agriculture production.
Later, the Agriculture Lyonpo shared the government’s initiatives like opening up of farm shop to help them sell their agriculture products; geog bank and power tiller hiring services among others. He also informed that the geog will soon receive a power tiller which will ease their work and urged them to work together with the Government for a better living.
In addition, the entourage paid a visit to Tendruk Higher Secondary School, Samphel Norbu coffee plantation site and RNR centres at Tendruk and Pemaling to see the possibilities of setting up farm shops there.
-Tshering Doma with photos by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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