Goling village in Nangkor Gewog, considered the rice bowl of Zhemgang, is transplanting its off-season spring paddy. The village is the only one in the district, which has continued its age-old tradition of spring paddy cultivation. The practice passed on for generations, has helped Goling farmers to be self-sufficient and utilise their scarce wetland by growing rice twice a year.
Zencha, a blissful 13-acre paddy field in Goling village, is the only place where farmers grow spring paddy in Zhemgang.
The actual summer paddy transplantation in Zhemgang begins in July. The 66 households of Goling grow four varieties of rice.
“This has been our tradition for generations. Red rice cultivation is something that has been passed on by our forefathers and it is not something that was taught to us recently by agriculture officials,” said Kinley Wangdi, a farmer.
“We can harvest about seven to nine quintals of rice every season. However, wild boars damage our fields. We do not have an irrigation water problem here either,” said Dehen Dorji, another farmer.
“We reap the benefits of early paddy harvest before we harvest the summer paddy. Our paddy is ready by September. So, if the yield is good, we also sell it and make a little income from it,” said Chonimo, a farmer.
Apart from seasonal rice cultivation, Goling farmers are planning to venture into all-season vegetable and fruit farming. Farmers say their village is blessed with a favourable climate, fertile soil, and continuous irrigation water.
Pema Samdrup, Zhemgang
Edited by Sherub Dorji