October 2, Thimphu: In fulfilling the government’s effort towards providing one power tiller each to all 205 gewogs in the Country, eight power tillers were today distributed to the gewogs under Thimphu Dzongkhag.
The Hon’ble Minister for Work and Human Settlement, Lyonpo Dorji Choden, the chief guest during the ceremony handed the machines to the respective Gups attended by officials from Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Thimphu Dzongkhag Administration, Gewog Agriculture Extension Agents and few other public representatives.
Speaking to the recipients, the chief guest said that distribution of powertillers is not about trying to fulfill government’s pledge but more about making people derive benefits from it.Hon’ble Lyonpo elaborated that power tillers will help boost agriculture production in the gewogs. “This will contribute towards food security, which is one important element of Country’s sovereignty,” said Lyonpo.
Lyonpo informed that Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, through many strategies such as setting up farm shops and constructing farm roads, to mention few, is working tirelessly towards boosting agriculture production in the Country. Power tillers means increased food production which also means some surplus to sell in the markets. This sale will help generate income, which will make households self-sufficient. “Country is self-self-sufficient when people are self-sufficient,” reminded Lyonpo.
Power tiller is multipurpose machine that can do the work and surrogate Oxen and Horses. Powertiller also serves as alternative means of transport especially taking agriculture products to nearest markets for sale besides serving many other purposes.
Program Director of Agriculture Machinery Centre (AMC) in Paro, Karma Thinley shared about the services AMC provides to the farmers. He also presented on how powertiller hiring system was instituted. “We started with a trail run for three months insic eastern dzongkhags with 70 powertillers.” “When assessed, we found that power tillers worked in 687 acres of farmland benefiting almost 1000 households,” he added.
He shared that in 2014-2015 alone, under the power tiller hiring system, worked in more than 9500 acres of farmland, benefiting more than 12000 households of 52 gewogs in 15 Dzongkhags. In addition, power tillers help in bringing down the problem associated with acute farm labour shortage, bring increasingly fallow land under cultivations. It is hoped that power tillers will make farming less labourous and more attractive to the educated youth, hence contributing towards mitigating rural-urban migration.
With eight powertillers issued today to Thimphu Dzongkhag, 178 gewogs in the Country has now received a power tiller each, leaving only 27 gewogsin Zhemgang, Trongsa, Bumthang and Paro. These remaining gewogs, the Program Director said, will receive power tillers in a week or less. “All 205 gewogs will be distributed power tillers by 10th October this year.”
From a total of eight gewogs under Thimphu Dzongkhag, five has road connectivity. However, gewogs like Soe, Naro and Lingzhi are yet to be connected with motorable road.
Reported by: Ugyen Tshering with photograph by ChoidupZangpo, ICS
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