English | Dzongkha Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Raising chili seedlings in Polytunnel, faster and healthier

Jan 10, 2021

In Punakha, locals of Yebisa Chiwog have found an alternative to raise chili seedlings – an easier and better one. Polytunnel, a mini-greenhouse has replaced the conventional method of raising chili seedlings in an open area.

A large number of mini-greenhouses spread in the paddy fields are a common sight in the village. And inside, chili sprouts are being nurtured. According to farmers, polytunnel helps in the proper and healthier growth of the seedlings. They grow around one month faster than in open space.

And, farmers are simultaneously readying their fields for chili transplantation. This time, due to the demand in the market and the ban on the import of chili, farmers there are looking to expand the land acreage for chili cultivation.  Pempa and his wife are among many.

”We have been sustaining our lives through chili business. I don’t have any other person to help me on the farm but when the government is focusing more on vegetable production, I am giving my best,” he said. The couple is making hay while the sun shines.  They earned about Nu 100,000 last year from the chili.

Likewise, another farmer Namgay Choden, said she is cultivating chili on about an acre of land. Last year, she cultivated on 50 decimals of land and earned around Nu 300,000.

The first harvest of chili from Yebisa will hit the market around March and April.

Apart from chili, farmers also grow other vegetables on large scale. Pempa has also resorted to a new method of growing slippery gourd in a plastic bottle. Growing cucumber is also a lucrative business for him. He said that he fetched a good amount from cucumber last year which is why he is growing more this time.

In all these endeavours, the Gewog Agriculture Extension Office supervises and provides necessary support to farmers. Yebisa Chiwog has around 50 households.

Changa Dorji

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