Business of growing cabbage in Punakha

The farmers in Kabisa gewog in Punakha are readying to plant cabbage in paddy terraces as the farmers have begun harvesting paddy.

Cabbage growing is picking up in the dzongkhag. The production of cabbage in Punakha increased to 298 MT last year from 74 MT in 2016.

This year, some farmers in Kabisa planted cabbage in some of the paddy terraces after they harvested chillies instead of paddy cultivation.

A farmer in Sirigang in Kabisea, Choden, said that she first planted cabbage in 2007.

“In the first year, the production was good but the year after, the cabbage leaves did not form a ball so I gave up cultivating it,” Choden said.

She again started growing the vegetable in about 25-decimal land last year. “The production was good and I made a profit of about Nu 150,000 from the sale of cabbage alone.”

She said that she sold the cabbages to the vegetable vendors at the Centenary Farmers’ Market in Thimphu. A kilogram of cauliflower sells for Nu 100, cabbage and broccoli for about Nu 40 and Nu 50.

She spent about Nu 2,500 on the seeds that she planted in her greenhouse. The saplings are then transplanted. She said that she spent a little more on the seeds this year as the rain ruined some of the saplings.

“Compared with other vegetables, cabbage is easy to grow,” she said. “But, if we transplant the saplings during rainy season, it ruins the saplings. Timing is important.”

She is growing cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli in about one and a half acre of land this year. “Last year, it was just me who grew cabbage. This year, a few more households are growing it.”

Another farmer in Wakudamchi, Tshering Yangday, said she planted cabbages, cauliflower and broccoli in her kitchen garden. “This is just for our consumption.”

“We plant the cabbages and cauliflower on large scale only after the paddy harvest,” she said.

She made about Nu 50,000 from the sale of cabbages last year. She plans to grow the vegetable in about 25 to 50 decimal land this year.

“When the vegetable fetches a good price, the vendors come to buy. We sell at Nu 50 a kilogram and they sell it for Nu 100,” Tshering Yangday said. “Although we make less profit, it is convenient for us if they come to buy at our doorstep.”

Other major produce of the dzongkhag is chilli, beans, and radish.

Dechen Tshomo

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