Timely rainfall promises good paddy yield in Zhemgang

Continuous rainfall over the past week has brought relief for paddy growers in Zhemgang. The rains arrived just in time for the start of the paddy transplantation season. With this timely rainfall, farmers in some villages of Zhemgang are hopeful for a good rice harvest this year.   

Filled with rainwater, the paddy fields of Kikhar village in Nangkor Gewog are ready for transplantation. Timely rainfall has provided farmers with an adequate water supply to begin transplantation.

Usually, farmers have to wait for their water turn each year. They rely on both irrigation water sources and rainfall.

Famers say if the rain continues, they will be able to complete the transplantation on time.

“The rainfall lasted about a week, allowing us to work on three to four or even up to eight paddy fields at once. The rain has benefited us a lot. Without it, we would not be able to transplant on time,” said Minjurla, a farmer from Kikhar.

“At first, it was sunny and we were worried about water shortage. However, continuous rain over the past few days has allowed us to transplant smoothly and solved our water problem,” said Tashi Gyeltshen, another farmer.

Similarly, farmers of Zilangbi in Dungbi village have benefited from the continuous rainfall.

For decades, they have been practicing the age-old tradition of Chukor where farmers take turns to use the irrigation water for transplantation.

However, the ongoing Shershong irrigation water project is expected to solve the irrigation water shortage in the village.

“We cannot do the work individually due to the water shortage. So, we use a rotation system where we also help each other with labour. When the Shershong irrigation water arrives, we can do it all at once instead of depending on the rotation system,” said Nima Wangchuk, a farmer from Dungbi.

“When it rains, it is beneficial. If there is no rain, then we cannot transplant paddy. The timely rainfall this time has benefited us,” said Sonam Dema, another farmer from Dungbi.

“If the government could expedite the work on the Sershong irrigation project, Dungbi village would benefit the most. Dangkhar, with its fertile paddy fields, would also benefit significantly,” said Jamtsho, also a farmer from Dungbi.

Paddy transplantation in villages in Zhemgang starts in early June and ends by the end of the month.

Rice cultivation is the primary source of income and a key economic activity in Zhemgang.

Pema Samdrup, Zhemgang   

Edited by Sonam Pem

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