Farmers lose maize to a windstorm in Khaling

Neten Dorji | Trashigang

More than 33 households in Khaling gewog of Trashigang lost at least 25 acres of maize and other crops to a recent windstorm.

Rainfall since May 20 also worsened the damage.

The windstorm on May 26 evening damaged maize fields in three chiwogs of Khaling gewog. 21 households in Brekha, 16 households in Bayphu and another six households of Jeri-Lemi chiwog lost all their maize plants.

Brekha chiwog tshogpa, Tashi Namgyel said, “We didn’t experience such natural disasters in the past.”

The gewog officials said most people in the chiwogs depend on maize and it is their staple food.

A farmer Ugyen Choden said that the windstorm and heavy rain together flattened her maize plants. “I am helpless. Once it is damaged, there is not much chance of recovering.”

She said the maize plants had grown bigger. “I doubt if whatever is saved from last year’s harvest would be enough for my family this year.”

Another farmer, Samten Wanchuk is among the most affected in Brekha village. Maize plants on his 50 decimal lands are grounded. “I don’t know how we will survive this year.”

He said his family expected a bountiful harvest this year. “There is no source of cash income in the village.”

Jeri-lemi tshogpa, Sonam Rabgay said that he reported the incident to the gewog administration as soon as he received complaints from the villagers.

A villager, Tenzin said, “We are losing interest in farm work witnessing our hard work vanish this way,” he said. “Some of my neighbours even started feeding them to cattle.”

Another villager, Ngawang Namgyel said, “There is very little hope of regeneration. We wouldn’t be able to produce much even if the plants survive.”

“We have to now look for an alternate source of living.”

Khaling Gup, Tashi Dorji said that the gewog administration is assessing the damages.

“The gewog administration is in the process of compiling reports. After the assessment, we would submit them to dzongkhag disaster management,” he said.

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