Agriculture: Of 355 households in Tashiding gewog in Dagana, 75 are gungtongs or empty households.

The figure, according to agriculture minister Yeshey Dorji, who is in the dzongkhag, is alarming and disheartening.

He said that because of empty houses and fallow land, human-wildlife conflict is on the rise since fallow lands turn to forests and provide cover for wild animals to attack nearby crops.

Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said the government provided electric fencing to farmers to curb human-wildlife conflict.

The government, he said, is providing free seeds, green houses, power tillers and various farm materials to encourage people to work on their farms and improve agriculture productivity. “When farmers can produce more agricultural products, it will make the communities economically stronger.”

The agriculture minister was, however, delighted that almost all the farmers in Tashiding own cattle.

Lyonpo told people that it is a must for a farmer to own cattle, raise poultry and work in their farms to become self reliant. “For a child to grow healthy and intelligent, he or she should be fed at least three eggs in a week and for that it is important for farmers to own at least two hens and a rooster,” he said.

He also said that the government is ready to provide the farmers with hens and a rooster each free of cost if they are interested.

The minster handed over a second power tiller to gewog and also maize seeds, potato seeds and two green houses for Norbugang and Gopini chiwogs.

Meanwhile, only Sham-Dolay chiwog has electric fencing in the gewog. Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said that if the people are interested to install electric fencing, the ministry is ready to provide them with support.

Yeshey Dema | Dagana