Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

After Chaskhar gewog in Mongar allocated Nu 6 million budget to restore irrigation water source at Gudari, farmers of Pam chiwog revived paddy cultivation in more than 70 acres of fields at Frokpulung this year.

The 6.7kms irrigation restoration work was executed through a community contract.

Chaskhar gup, Pema Dorji, said more than 60 households benefitted from the repaired irrigation canal. “We also increased the intake at the source.”

He said there are more than 100 acres of dry land remaining fallow because of lack of irrigation water.

Farmers are happy.

Paithey, 66, of Pam chiwog in Chaskhar gewog, Mongar, remembers harvesting more than 800 drey (measuring bowl) of rice from his paddy fields in Frokpulung decades ago, but lack of irrigation water forced them to leave the fields fallow. “The water source dried up.”

He said they did not buy imported rice then as what was harvested was more than self-sufficient for the family. “But we depended on imported rice after we stopped cultivating.”

Paithey is now happy.  With the paddy fields looking lush green and promising, he is hoping for a similar yield he harvested 15 years ago.

“The soil is more fertile here in the lower altitude and I’ve no doubt about the yield this year as well,” he said.

Another landowner, Rinchen, said she is even hoping to sell rice and earn some income.

Edited by Tashi Dema