Ramjarpas harvest water melon for the first time in Wangringmo

Farmers with their produce
Farmers with their produce

Trashiyangtse: A semi commercial water melon production in Wangringmo, Ramjar geog began in March 2015 under the research outreach program/HRDP Post Project Activity 2015. The program was aimed to diversify crop production, intensify land use (relay cropping after paddy) and also to utilise the irrigation facilities put in Wangringmo by the Department and the Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector in the past.

It began in March this year with an on-farm demonstration on transplanting on 17 March 2015. A total of 17 farmers took part and transplanted 771 water melon seedlings in Wangringmo. This was followed by a follow up activity a month later on 9 April 2015 to demonstrate on removal of plastic capping,  topdressing with suphala, maintenance of main stems, removal of fruiting sprouts from the first 6 nodes for the water melon plants, which are essential in cultivation of melons.

Finally on 30 May 2015, almost a week before harvest, another demonstration on harvesting technique and post-harvest handling was organised with the Dzongkhag and geog agriculture sector. Matured fruits were harvested on the same day for trial marketing in Doksum. A total of 81.5 kg of selected water melons harvested from 5 farmer’s field were sold in the market through two different means of marketing. The first one is sale to fruit and vegetable vendors at whole sale rate of Nu. 30/kg. and the second lot is sold to consumers directly at Nu. 50/kg.

The first experience on water melon this year was encouraging for farmers and many showed keen interest in it. Earlier this year, there was some hesitation as they were unsure whether they could harvest before paddy season. But having seen this season that it can be a relay crop after paddy, the chances of up scaling is higher next year.

Ramjar geog agriculture extension will be coordinating a nursery establishment in Wangringmo in the next season with technical assistancefrom RDC Wengkhar and Lingmethang. This year the seedlings were raised in Lingmethang as it was bit far for the researchers to monitor.

The remaining melon will soon reach Trashiyangtse with the initiatives of the Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector scheduling a sale during the upcoming wang to be held in Chorten Kora.

Wangringmo is one of the villages that produce early chili every year and if all goes well, water melons can top up on the chilies and enable farmers get more income.

The seeds and seedlings for this program is supported through RGOB/HRDP Post Project and the trainings are supported by MAGIP-IFAD

For more update on the activities of RNR RDC Wengkhar and sub-centres visit: www.facebook.com/RNRRDCWengkhar

– Kinlay Tshering, Sonam Tashi (RDC Wengkhar) and Ram Chandra Katel (RNR EC Ramjar)

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