Cardamom growers experience the brunt of recent heavy snowfall in Zhemgang

The heavy snowfall in February, which was the first after decades in Zhemgang, has damaged all cardamom plants in Tali village. This has left the farmers disappointed. The farmers in Tali grow cardamom as one of the main cash crops.

One of the cardamom fields in Tali village was severely affected by the snowfall. The leaves are wilted. A few cardamom growers said they did not report the damage to the concerned authority thinking that the plants would survive.

Eden, a cardamom grower in Tali said the plants have died.

“This time, we were expecting a better yield. But unfortunately, the heavy snowfall damaged all cardamom plants. It is one of our main cash crops. Now, we don’t have other ways to revive the plants’ growth than to start everything from the scratch and cultivate again. It’s a lot of expenditure.”

“During the snowfall, all the leaves were covered by snow. The leaves have become yellowish and some look like they were burnt by fire. Almost all plants have died now,” said Pema Samdrup, a farmer.

“We depend on the income from the crop to meet all household expenses. We cannot depend on other cash crops because of human-wildlife conflict. For us, cardamom is a profitable crop,” said Zangmo, another farmer.

Tali village has about 25 households and each of them owns acres of cardamom orchards. They earn between Nu 50,000 to half a million every year by selling the spice.

The snowfall this time may have beaten their cash crops to the ground but not their hopes. The farmers in Tali are determined to cultivate the spice once again, all from scratch for it is worth giving another try.

Pema Samdrup, Zhemgang

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