English | Dzongkha Friday, July 20, 2018

Grappling with poor potato yield, Drametse-Monggar

Feb 14, 2011

Potato is the main cash crop for the people of Drametse in Monggar. But, over the past few years, farmers in the geog have been struggling with poor yields.

This according to the farmers is mainly caused by a potato tuber moth which eats up the vegetable in the field and even when stored. Blight is another disease which dries up of the leaves and affects the growth. It is caused by fungal infection.

Forty-year-old Pelden has been cultivating potatoes for many years now and says potato yield has deteriorated in the last few years.

“We used to get good yields before. It was enough to meet our daily expenses for our school going children and also to buy household items for the family. But for the past 7-8 years, we were not paid well for our hard works,” said Pelden.

Pelden however has not given up hopes for a good yield. About 20 households in main Drametse have been facing the same challenges.

According to villagers, they have to combine the produce with the neighbors in order to make a truck load. Farmers have reported about the problem to the agriculture extension office. The extension supervisor said that people do not buy the fungicides for blight.

“It is also because people do not have proper storage places for their harvest. We are planning to build a cooling chamber for the people to store their harvest.” said Ghalley Namgay, the extension supervisor.

In Monggar town too, the potatoes are mostly imported from India and it’s rare to find local produce. Vegetable vendors say its because the local potatoes are expensive and its hard for them to make profits with the local produce.

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