As part of the one-dzongkhag three products initiative

ODTP: Gasa dzongkhag observed the International Happiness Day yesterday by planting 138 blueberry plants in Khatoed gewog.

The activity was a first of its kind to be carried out by farmers.

Gasa dzongdag Dorji Dhradhul said the pilot project is part of Bhutan Chamber for Commerce and Industry’s (BCCI) one-dzongkhag three products initiative.

Gasa was identified for blueberry plantation. The soil sample was taken about four months ago and found suitable. As the plant requires acidic soil, the testing was required.

Dzongdag Dorji Dhradhul said that the plants were brought from Michigan in US. “Each plant is estimated to cost about Nu 1,800 including transportation charges till Gasa,” he said.

The plants were bought with financial support from agriculture ministry’s horticulture division and BCCI. The plants were distributed to a couple in Khatoed gewog who were identified in consultation with gewog officials and the community.

Dzongkhag officials said blueberry plant requires immense care and protection. Although the plants would bear fruits by October and November, it has been recommended not to harvest during the first year.

Dzongdag Dorji Dhradhul said the economical lifespan of blueberry plants were 30 years, but it could also last up to 50 years.

“It is a high value crop and considered a healthy fruit,” he said. It earns around Nu 3,000 to Nu 5,000 a kilogramme in India.

If successful, Dorji Dhradhul said they have plans to expand the plantation to other parts of the dzongkhag.

Representatives from BCCI, Abonna Fruits and Plants Co. Pvt., India were also present when the plantation was done at  Khatoed.

Dawa Gyelmo