Neten Dorji | Merak
In Merak, Trashigang, Tshenden is preparing lunch for her family. She makes a quick dash to her greenhouse. There is always something fresh, green and healthy to eat.
Located above 3,500 metres above sea level, Merak is cold. Nothing much used to grow in the past. That, of course, has changed now. Thanks to greenhouses in the gewog, residents no longer have to batter livestock products with the people of Phongmey, Radhi, and Shongphu.
Some highlanders here now grow enough to sell even.
“In winter we can’t grow anything in Merak. In summer, we grow radish, potato, spinach, cucumber and cabbage. We now grow onions too,” said Nima Choezom.
It has been four year since greenhouse installation began in the gewog.
A civil servant said that many gewog residents were ambivalent about benefits of greenhouse. “But results are here for us to see. We now have almost all kinds of vegetables. It’s hard to build greenhouse here what with shortage of wood and space but it’s worth one’s while.”
Mangmi Phurpa said that about 90 percent of households in Merak had greenhouse today. “Everybody is now depending on the greenhouse for vegetables.”
With the help from the Department of Forests and Park Services, the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary introduced the greenhouse project in the gewog in 2013 to promote ecotourism. The project was later taken over by the agriculture ministry.
There are more than 250 greenhouses in Merak today.