June 27, Punakha: The Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo, Yeshey Dorji visited the Punakha areas where the farmers have been unable to transplant paddy due to shortage of irrigation water. This year due to scanty rainfall, four geogs viz. Guma, Chhubu, Toedwang and Barp are facing shortage of irrigation water. Farmers who would have otherwise completed transplantation of paddy by this time of the year have still been unable to start or have just transplanted in small areas.
After the geog’s irrigation problem was reported to the Dzongkhag Administration and Department of Agriculture (DoA) in the first week of June, water pumps from the Agriculture Machinery Centre (AMC), Paro were mobilised and water pumping from Phochhu and Mochhu Rivers was initiated in most of the feasible areas. Based on request from the Punakha paddy growers, Lyonpo waived off the water pumps hiring rate of Nu. 2400/- for 24 hrs that AMC usually collects from users.
Lyonpo visited and interacted with paddy growers, where the water pumping from rivers were on-going or planned, specifically Samdingkha and Bjara in Toedwang, Yebisa in Chhubu, Changyul in Guma and Eusakha in Barp geogs.
Lyonpo also visited Dawakha village in Toedwang and informed the villagers that a team from DoA would soon be deputed to study technical feasibility of constructing water reservoirs to ease the shortage of irrigation water in the event like this year.
During interaction in Eusakha, farmers expressed the high fuel expenses for water pumps especially when two or more pumps had to be used in a line to pump water up to the high terraces. On that concern, Lyonpo shared that the Ministry will look into the possibility of providing Government assistance to reduce fuel expenses.
Currently, with eight water pumps operating in four geogs, more than 40 acres of wetlands have been irrigated and with additional pumps, which are soon to be deployed, more farmers are expected to benefit.
In addition to the paddy areas, Lyonpo also visited ADTC-Chimipang and Thinleygang.
- Submitted by Karma Tenzin, Dzongkhag Agriculture Officer, Punakha
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