… benefits 13 households in the remote village of Shaba  

Chhimi Dema 

Villagers of Shaba in Sangbaykha gewog celebrate as their water woes ended with the inauguration of the Langjaru Integrated Irrigation Project yesterday.

The irrigation project will benefit 13 households in the village.

Shaba Tshogpa, Rinzin Dorji, said that he sees better income opportunities with continuous irrigation water supply.

During summers, he said, irrigation water wasn’t an issue. “But during winters without water supply, cardamom–our cash crop dries up and we cannot work on growing vegetables.”

Records with the dzongkhag administration show that the irrigation project can irrigate existing 170 acres of dryland which grows cardamom.

The dzongkhag administration also noted that the shortage of water has caused paddy cultivation to decrease from 20 acres to 8 acres today and vegetable production has struggled in the village.

The nearest perennial water is located four to five kilometres away from the village at a place called Langjaru.

The project started on January 8 and was completed in October this year. It was carried out by the De-Suung office and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests with support from the Royal Bhutan Army and guidance from the Office of Performance Management under His Majesty’s Secretariat.

Forty de-suups volunteered for the project.

Shaba village is suitable to grow maize, paddy, chillies, cardamom, and varieties of vegetables.

Tshogpa Rinzin Dorji said that villagers can work on growing winter vegetables now. “This greatly increases our opportunities to grow other crops for sale and earn better.”