Government’s power tiller remains idle in Dorona

The people of Dorona were full of excitement when the gewog received a power tiller three days back. But their excitement soon turned into disappointment.

While people are still struggling with oxen to plough their fields, the power tiller provided by the government lies idle in the gewog centre.

This is because farmers found that the power tiller cannot be used in their paddy fields.

Dorona gewog located at an elevation between 200m to 2700m above sea level has mostly steep terrain. Only two chiwogs of Mangmethang and Nimtola cultivates paddy.  The remaining chiwogs buy rations from the market and cultivate maize for their staple diet.

It was just last week that one of the farmers from Nimtola, Sonam hired the power tiller to till his land to sow maize. With much difficulty it was brought to his land but soon after he encountered problems. The power tiller toppled thrice on his fields which are located on steep slopes. He was able to till only a small area of his fields.

“This power tiller can’t be used in our fields, a smaller power tiller would be easier to use on steep terrain,” he said. While he could not make use of the service, he still paid the hiring charges.

Another farmer Pema said that the people appreciate the government for attempting to make the lives of rural people easier by mechanising farming but the practicality aspect also has to be considered. “If the government is really concerned about the public, gewogs having steep terrain should be provided with mini power tillers,” he said.

Otherwise the government’s investment on improving the standard of living of rural communities will be wasted if facilities such as power tillers cannot be used, he added.  Pema pointed out that if the government isn’t able to provide mini power tillers, gewogs that have steep terrain should be allowed to exchange their large power tillers with mini ones provided to gewogs located in the plains.

“The power tiller has become a necessity and is a noble initiative by the government but seeing it remain idle is disappointing,” he added.

However, the power tiller was used to transport firewood at least once.

The issue was also raised during agriculture minister Yeshey Dorji’s visit to the gewog recently. People are hopeful that their request for a mini power tiller will be noted.

Meanwhile, the gewog’s agriculture extension officer, Indra Bahadur Raika, said that requisition for a mini power tiller has been put up to the dzongkhag recently.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang

1 reply
  1. irfan
    irfan says:

    People’s request for a mini power tiller is well understood considering their fields. It also depends on what the farmers cultivate from paddy to maize. Availability of adequate irrigation or its limitations need to be considered as well.

    But at the same time, a power tiller needs to have the optimised mechanical characteristics required to driver the tillers depending on the local field conditions.

    Certain mini power tillers are not popular among farmers as they tend to produce more vibrations, mostly mechanical vibrations. While larger and powerful tillers with more cylinders feel mechanically a bit more balanced to operate even on smaller and steeper field due to the overall structure of the frame.

    Still, as pointed out by the end users, portability has its advantages for the operators while soil quality and its hardness can produce another challenge for the power tiller in use. In my opinion, the experts from the agriculture department and the village administration needs to think about the power source or the engine in use from its engineering and technology point of view.

    Only then the mechanical advantages of a mini power tiller along with its portability can be applied to the maximum benefit of the farmers. Tiling is not the only need when we consider machinery aided farm utility application. Probably a bit of practical research for practicality is expected here.

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