Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

Sigay Wangchuk, 58, from Taksha is going to his second home Babchey in Daga gewog, Wangdue.

He is carrying the first electrical appliance to his home, a stainless electrical boiler.

In his neighbour Rinzin Om’s home, an electric rice cooker has replaced the traditional cooking stove.

Babchey residents are all excited with the electricity grid supply they received last July and road the connection.

Sigay Wangchuk said farmers were planning to grow potatoes on a commercial scale. “I suggested that we buy tractors to boost our agriculture plan.”

Another villager, Sangay Om, is renovating her almost five-decade old home.

She owns about 2.5 acres of land in Babchey and about an acre wetland in Taksha. “Now with road and electricity, I‘m planning to spend more months in Babchey.”

Eight houses, though, are still waiting for the road connection

She said in Taksha, she could only cultivate wetland but in Babchey, she could venture into vegetable business.

Farmers spend around three hours travelling from Taksha to Babchey.  All farmers in Taksha and a few from Sili travel to Babchey with their domestic animals after paddy cultivation. “There’s no area left for the animals to graze in Taksha,” Sangay Om said.

Apart from paddy cultivation, maize is grown in the village.

Farmers in Babchey use maize for consumption and to brew alcohol.

With the gewog’s initiative to decrease alcohol consumption in the village, an understating was signed in 2018 with the farmers.  

Daga Gup Nado has plans for Babchey.

He said the soil was fertile in Babchey and people could grow varieties of vegetables. “We plan to provide electric fencing next year to encourage farmers to grow vegetables.”

The village was connected with a 4.5km road stretch with a gewog budget of Nu 2 million.  Of the 22 houses in the village, the road was connected to 17 households.  

Eight houses, though, are still waiting for the road connection.

Gup Nado said an additional 1.5km distance will have to be connected to reach all households. “I’ve assured farmers that I’ll try to seek fund and get road connectivity to other households.”