English | Dzongkha Saturday, August 17, 2019

Large scale watermelon cultivation in Yumdang

Pema Samdrup, Zhemgang
May 14, 2019

Watermelon cultivation fever is spreading to other gewogs in Zhemgang encouraged by the successful return from it in Berti village started in 2015. Two acres of paddy fields which usually remain unused during this time in Yumdang village under Ngangla Gewog is filled with ripe juicy watermelons. It is the first large scale watermelon cultivation being carried out in the village.

“Compared to last year we have cultivated more watermelons, and more cultivation means more income for us,” Sonam Chophel, a farmer in Yumdang village said.

Another farmer from the same village, Zangmo said that her watermelons fetched Nu 20,000 last year and she is hoping that she will earn more than that this year because of good yields.  

The village with a plain landscape has a favourable climate to grow watermelons. From next season, the Dzongkhag Agriculture Office plans to go fully commercial and involve more households and also fully utilize idle lands. However, farmers say despite the promising yield, they are doubtful of finding a good market.

“If there is a ready market, we would not have any challenges. Finding a market is the main challenge,” Zangmo said. Sonam Chophel also has the same views on the market and thinks that the government could support them by finding a proper market which will encourage them to “double the productions in the coming years.”

The Dzongkhag Agriculture Office said that they are discussing with the Regional Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives (RAMCO) on how to help farmers find markets for their watermelons.

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