Tshering Namgyal | Mongar
Three years ago, Yeshi Wangchuk decided to quit his job with the finance ministry and get into farming.
He started developing a five-acre farmland in his village, Jangdung in Saling gewog, Mongar. Early this year, his 200 avocado trees and more than 100 mango trees flowered, raising hope of a rich harvest.
However, all his hopes were dashed to the ground when a hailstorm damaged the prized fruits before he could harvest them. It disappointed him, but didn’t discourage him. He had insured his crops and recovered the loss from the insurance claims.
He received a sum of Nu 100,000 from the insurance company, which was paid to the bank directly. That helped him in reducing the principle loan amount.
He said he initially bought 200 avocado saplings at Nu 150 each from a private nursery in Paro. All died. However, he was determined after the Agricultural Research Development Centre (ARDC) in Wengkhar supported him by replacing the saplings from Lingmethang research sub-centre.
The 34-year-old former civil servant said that he applied for the priority sector lending from BoIC and REDCL. He also received financial support from his relatives.
Yeshi Wangchuk said he made an initial investment of more than Nu 300,000 for land development, electric fencing and bringing in topsoil from Jenela. “While doing groundwork, I heard of the priority sector lending (PSL) and applied for about Nu 500,000 of which I received around Nu 450,000 to continue the work.”
He is one of the few who availed PSL facility in Mongar.
He said this facility was convenient and came as a boon. “It needs no mortgage and guarantor and only crop insurance that cost nothing.”
Sitting outside his makeshift farmhouse, Yeshey is inspecting at his fruit trees. “I’m hoping for a better yield next year,” he said.
He also grew 150 dragon fruits, 300 passion fruit in his 4.5-acre orchard along with avocado and mango.