Chimi Dema | Doonglagang
With the cardamom yield almost tripled than last year, farmers in Dangereybu Maed chiwog in Doonglagang gewog, Tsirang are expecting a good income.
Purna Bahadur Pradhan, a farmer who planted cardamom on 2.5 acre-land could harvest about five mons (1mon is 40kg) this year. Last year, he harvested only around two mons.
Given the good yield this time, he said he was planning to sell the spice only after drying. He is expecting to sell at Nu 500 for a kg.
“In the previous years, I sold fresh cardamom for Nu 70 a kg,” Purna Bahadur Pradhan said.
About 100 metres climb up the bushes from his house, there is his neighbor Dhil Ram Dhimal’s cardamom orchard amid fruiting orange trees.
It is his third time harvesting from his 1.5-acre land orchard. He made around Nu 45,000 from three mons of cardamom last year.
“I am expecting around five mons this time. The yield is comparatively better than last year,” Dhil Ram said.
Another farmer, Rupa Maya Suberi, could harvest about 40 kg of cardamom from 50-decimal land.
An elderly farmer, Gopal, who is harvesting the produce is expecting about three mons.
In addition to shade canopy providing a suitable environment for cardamom, farmers attribute the good fruiting to excessive rainfall that the region received over the past months.
The gewog agriculture official, however, said that the cases were different in other chiwogs in high altitude.
“While the incessant rains have helped fruiting of cardamom in low-altitude areas, it affected flowering of spices in chiwogs of Norjangsa,” an official said. “This has affected the yield.”
Meanwhile, Dhil Ram said that although his cardamom plants did not suffer fungal diseases until now, wild animals raiding the crop is a major problem.
“I have lost about 50 kg of cardamom to wild boar this time,” he said. “We have tried various measures to protect our crops.”