Ratheykhola Irrigation Scheme boosts paddy yields and winter vegetable farming- Sarpang

Farmers of three villages in Sarpang’s Dekiling Gewog are celebrating increased paddy yields and thriving winter vegetable farming. All thanks to the Ratheykhola Irrigation Scheme, which was completed in 2020. The scheme has addressed the long-standing irrigation water supply issues and allowed the villagers to earn extra income by cultivating winter vegetables.

Farmers of Mendrelgang, upper and middle Chhoekhorling villages were without a proper irrigation water facility for paddy cultivation before the Ratheykhola scheme.

During summers, they relied on the Biskhola water source, which often remains dry when there is no rainfall.

However, the Ratheykhola Irrigation Scheme has been a game-changer. It not only doubled their paddy production but ensured a year-round water supply for winter vegetable cultivation.

“The residents of upper and middle Chhoekhorling and Mendrelgang used to depend on the Biskhola water supply in the summer for paddy cultivation. Unfortunately, when our paddy reached maturity, it would dry up due to water shortages, resulting in low yields. Since the water scheme started in 2020, the production in the three villages has significantly increased from 2021,” said Lekey Gyeltshen, Dekiling Mangmi.

“Compared to previous years, our harvests have doubled. We used to get about seven bags of grains from all our fields. But now I harvest 10 to 13 bags of grain from my paddy field. With reliable water access, we can also grow winter vegetables,” said Tulsi Ram Dhimal, a farmer in Chhoekhorling.

“We have seen huge benefits with the arrival of water supply. Vegetables grow well and paddy cultivation is now successful. In the past, our paddy would dry up before it was ready to harvest,” said Dhimal, another farmer in Chhoekhorling.

The Ratheykhola Irrigation Scheme was constructed at a cost of more than Nu 35 M. The Food Security and Agriculture Productivity Project funded the construction works.

The scheme includes over seven-kilometre-long water pipeline and a water storage tank.

Karma Wangdi, Sarpang

Edited by Sonam Pem

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