English | Dzongkha Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Ground apple, a new source of income for Tsirang farmers

Dec 10, 2019

Locally named Yuese Yacon, the cultivation of ground apple is picking up in Tsirang. With the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) legalising the sale and production of ground apple in the country last year, it came as a blessing for the farmers. 

Ground apple known for its high nutritional value is a sweet-tasting tuberous root.

Farmers have been growing ground apple for commercial purpose as well. Last year, farmers sold ground apples for Nu 200 a kilogram. This year, however, the price has gone down slightly.

29-year-old Monbir Chuwan is one of them. After graduating with a marketing degree from Gedu College of Business Studies, he headed home to start his own ground apple venture in 2016. He took a small loan from a farmers group in his community to start up his farm.  Today his fields are full of ground apples and kiwis. Kiwi is another fruit that farmers in Tsirang are showing interest to cultivate.

“I calculated my income in a job and working on the farm, and I saw a big difference. So I decided to work on the farm. I took a little effort in research regarding high-value crops, which is feasible in Tsirang. So I have come across two high-value crops that are ground apple and kiwi.”

Like Monbir, 29-year-old Amir Rai an IT graduate is also into growing Yacon and Kiwi which is now his main source of income. He harvested over 300 kilograms of ground apple and made a profit of over Nu 50,000 last year

“First of all we don’t have to do much work; it doesn’t require manure as well. And we get a good yield. At present, the price of the fruit is also attractive.”

Meanwhile, the dzongkhag administration is also encouraging other farmers in the district to grow ground apples on commercial scales. The office says they will be helping farmers market the crop.

Namgay Wangchuk

1 Comment for “Ground apple, a new source of income for Tsirang farmers”

  1. Bimal Rai

    How can I get a marketing for ground apple as in my locality I too want to encourage myself and my village farmers for growing of ground apple

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