Commercial farming has become a blessing for farmers in Ramjar Gewog in Trashi Yangtse. Despite the challenges of wild animals destroying their crops, the farmers are enjoying a steady income by selling locally grown vegetables. On average, farmers earn between Nu 150,000 to Nu 300,000 annually.
Chilli and other vegetable harvests are in full swing in Khalapangthang-Tsangrong and Lengbartang-Woongkhar chiwogs.
Farmers not only supply their produce to nearby districts but also to Samdrup Jongkhar town when their harvest is plentiful.
Moreover, the Sunday vegetable market in Trashigang benefits farmers from selling their vegetables.
“I have cultivated an acre of land to grow broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and green chillies. This year, I am expecting to earn around Nu 200,000 from selling vegetables,” said Jampel, a farmer.
“This year I am expecting to get more than Nu 100,000. Usually, I earn around Nu 200,000. But this time, rainfall has damaged our vegetables. With the money I get, I buy essentials and cover my school-going children’s expenses,” said Sherub Zangmo, also a farmer.
Despite their good income and successful harvests, farmers struggle to protect their vegetables from wild animals.
“I have tried using iron fencing and even stacking stones to protect my vegetables from animals. But living near the forest makes it challenging. I have tried everything, but it is not working,” added Jampel.
“I cannot go anywhere. I must spend the entire day guarding vegetables against wild boars and monkeys. We would benefit greatly from chain link fencing, especially to keep wild boars at bay as they hinder our interest in vegetable cultivation,” added Sherub Zangmo.
Ramjar Gup said electric fencing was provided but it was not effective against some animals, especially wild boars.
As per directives from the district agriculture sector, the gewog office conducted a survey a few months ago to set up chain link fences covering four chiwogs, totalling more than 10 kilometres. The gewog is awaiting the final directive from the district.
Ramjar Gewog has around 80 farmers doing commercial vegetable farming. The gewog has 351 households.
Last year, the gewog produced 207 metric tonnes of vegetables including potatoes, chilli, and other varieties.
Sonam Darjay, Trashi Yangtse
Edited by Sonam Pem