With the Gomtu gewog agriculture office distributing lychee and mango saplings to Dumseygang chiwog in June this year, residents are expected to earn cash income from the sale of the two fruit crops.

Dumseygang chiwog with 45 households stands on a serene hilltop about 15kms away from Gomtu.

Agriculture officials distributed 625 lychee saplings to all the households but mango saplings were distributed to only one farmer.

As of now, people do not grow lychees and mangoes to earn income, although the weather is suitable. There are only three lychee trees that bear fruits in the chiwog and no mango trees.

A villager, Bal Bahadur Rai, who used an acre of his land to grow lychee and mango, said he is expecting good income in few years.

He planted 49 lychee saplings in 50 decimals of land and 47 mango sapling in the remaining 50 decimals. “The agriculture officials provided grafted hybrid saplings because I volunteered to use more land,” he said. “I just had to invest in transportation and labour.”

Meanwhile, residents say the owner of the two old lychee trees in the chiwog encouraged other villagers to plant the fruit. “Until June this year, people thought the weather was unsuitable but agriculture officials encouraged the villagers citing the example of the two old lychee trees,” a villager said.

Harka Bahadur Rai’s family owns the two old lychee trees in the chiwog. “These trees are more than 50 years old.”

He said that only two trees survived when he planted about 50 saplings.

Harvests from these two lychee trees fetched Nu 10,000 this year.

Many villagers opted to plant lychee.

Gomtu gewog’s agriculture officer, Surja Bahadur Rai, said mango saplings were distributed to only one household on trial.

He said that saplings of oranges, cardamom, and nuts were distributed depending on the suitability of the area.

Rajesh Rai |  Gomtu