Agriculture: Despite a delay in transplantation of paddy seedlings (changla) this year, farmers of Dangdung and Wengkhang under Langthel gewog in Trongsa are satisfied with their yields.

The farmers are currently harvesting their paddy.

Most of the farmers said that the yield is even better in some of their fields this year despite some destruction caused by wild animals.

Farmers could not carry out changla on time because of lack of irrigation water. The farmers got lucky this year because it rained right after the seedlings were transplanted.

Tandin, 45, who was harvesting paddy in his field, said he is expecting the same yield this year as previous years. “Changla was delayed by around two weeks but it did not hamper the yield,” he said.

Tandin harvested 1,200 dreys of paddy last year. A drey is a traditional grain measuring equipment, which weighs a little more than a kilogramme.

He said wild animals continue to destroy the crops. “Electric fencing should really help keep wild animals away from our fields but it has not been effective since the fields are scattered,” he said.

Pema Yangzom, 28, who owns paddy fields at Wengkhang said the paddy grew well but the recent heavy rainfall destroyed some of the crop. Wild animals also continue to destroy crops, she said.

Lhundup, 54, said there was adequate rainfall after transplantation unlike the previous year. “My yield should be even better than last year,” he said. There was not enough rainfall after the transplantation season last year.

Langthel’s gewog agriculture extension officer, Damanti Mukhia, said they were initially worried about paddy transplantation as there was no irrigation water and rainfall during the first two weeks of June. Some of the paddy seedlings that the farmers planted had also partially withered during that period. The matter was even discussed in Parliament.

“The gewog received rainfall from the third week however,” Damanti Mukhia said. The gewog agriculture extension office with assistance from the dzongkhag agriculture sector had already grown paddy seedlings in 1,000 plastic trays incase farmers ran short of seedlings.

Damanti Mukhia said the farmers’ seedlings were revived before transplantation time and just as monsoon arrived. But the transplantation had to go on till the end of July although experts advised to have it completed by mid-July for better yield.

“We are happy that the delay of Changla did not hamper the yield,” she said.

Nima Wangdi | Dangdung