In collaboration with Maize Commodity Programme led by RNR RDC, Wengkhar and Agriculture sector, Sarpang with the financial support from the Department of Agriculture had implemented large scale hybrid maize production. The farmers of 11 geogs were supplied with 14metric tones of seeds to 1356 households focused on the wetland based spring maize production except Jigmecholing geog due to no demand from the farmers.
Generally the farmers planted their maize in dry land under rain fed condition because of the dependence on seasonal water resource for wetland irrigation. This year under favorable condition and receiving the hybrid maize seeds for the first time, the maize production is expected to yield more than 2000 MT, if there are no incidences of wild animal damage and other natural calamities.
In preparation of taking the advantages to sell the hybrid maize by the farmers, the Dzongkhag Agriculture Sarpang and Punakha in collaboration with Agriculture Marketing initiated to link with roadside roasted maize seller of Thinleygang under Punakha Dzongkhag and the maize growers of Sarpang Dzongkhag but could not progress in selling Sarpang maize due to lack of interest from Thinleygang maize sellers.
Despite having no other options, the Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector and the Geog Extension initiated selling roasted maize at roadside of Sarpang-Gelephu national highway with one of the farmer from Samteling geog. With start of such activity the number of roasted maize sellers had increased to 5 roasted maize sellers at Samteling and one at Darachu, Gakidling gewog on the way to Sarpang-Thimphu National Highway.
Among them, some sell their own maize roasted and some buy fresh maize at the rate of Nu.5 per cob from farmer’s field and sell as roasted. As of now those roasted maize sellers are fetching good margin form maize as they can sell the roasted at Nu.10-20 based on size of maize per cob. In an average, they are able to sell at the minimum of Nu.1500-2000 per day where it is seen as good advantages for the farmers to sell as roasted compared to selling as a grain. Based on the calculation it is going to fetch at the minimum of Nu. 200000 per acre if the maize can be sold as roasted. The roasted maize is sold at dough stage.
As other option Agriculture sector is trying to look for the possibility to process Tegma and Kharang by the farmers and facilitate to sell maize to Food Corporation of Bhutan, Karma Feed and other available markets. It is expected to fetch good price and encourage the farmers to go for more maize production.
Since the maize programme is expected to be successful for the farmers of Sarpang, Agriculture sector is at stake for the supply of hybrid maize seed. Sarpang has potential to grow both summer and winter mazie.
By Agriculture sector, Sarpang
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