Zhemgang: The Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector initiated the production of winter vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, radish and cauliflower in its potential gewogs to supplement the nutritional value and household income. In 2017, the Dzongkhag and gewog administrations focused the production in Goshing and Ngangla gewogs. In Ngangla, the production was taken up by farmers group of Kagtong village while in Goshing, the production was initiated by the newly formed group of every chiwog.
The two gewogs covers an area of 5.14 acres under vegetables cultivation supported through the Department of Agriculture. The sector is expecting production of 9300kgs of cabbage, 3600kgs of radish, 490kgs of broccoli and 200kgs of cauliflower.
To encourage knowledge and experience sharing, the sector conducted a field day on January 12 and 18 in Kagtong and Lingmapong respectively. The day demonstrated the improved production technology to farmers. It also served as a platform for farmer-to-farmer interaction and discuss market issues and strategies.
The chief guest, Dasho Dzongda in his speech commended the initiative and hard work put up by farmers’ group and agriculture field staff. He advised them to maintain the same spirit to improve their rural livelihood and national economy. He also assured them to provide all the necessary support for vegetable activities. As a token of appreciation, he offered a Trashi Khadar to group members which will go a long way in encouraging and boosting the domestic production.
During the field visit, farmers discussed various aspects of production and management technology. It is hoped that the knowledge and skills gained by them will be used and shared with other farmers around. The sector also stressed that similar initiatives should be continued for promoting the semi-commercial vegetable production and enhance their household economy.
Considering the market issues, some relevant strategies were also discussed thoroughly. Usually, the market issue is due to high farm gate price from vegetable growers. To ensure a reliable market, farmers agreed farm gate prices for cabbage, broccoli, radish and cauliflower. Vegetables will be first explore to market within Dzongkhag through local vendors in Zhemgang, Tingtibi and Panbang. The sector will also meet with the school management of Sonamthang, Panbang and Goshing for market.
Further, to ensure better facilitation and address the market issues, the sector is planning to discuss with the Department on the possibility of providing them transportation support and a sale stall at the Centenary Farmers’ Market in Thimphu.
Submitted by Phuntsho, Dzongkhag Agriculture Officer, Zhemgang
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