Phub Dem 

Heavy snowfall in Haa and Paro last week damaged many greenhouses.

Farmers said more than 30 to 40 centimetres of snow piled on top of the greenhouses, damaging them.

Phub Dem from Shari in Samar gewog said snow damaged the plastic roof of her greenhouse. “The metal frames were twisted.”

She had been cultivating tomatoes in the structure for five years. “We have to replace it. I have an extra plastic roof, but I don’t know if I can get the metal framing.”

Samar gewog’s agriculture extension office reported that eight greenhouses were severely damaged by the snowfall.

Officials stated that farmers had been taking care of the structure, as they paid a lot for it and it was a primary source of income.

The report states that farmers had cleared the snow during the day, but the damage was caused especially at night, and most greenhouses were far from the settlement.

Farmers in Samar started growing tomatoes in addition to potatoes and cabbage, as it is a profitable crop.

Kinley Wangchuk from Dumcho in Uesu gewog pitched a 20×5 greenhouse four days before the snowfall completely damaged it.

He said with the pandemic impacting his homestay business and feed problem affecting poultry business, he decided to venture into farming. “The metal frames were damaged. It will be difficult to repair the structure.”

Another farmer, Kinley Bidha, said of the four greenhouses she owned, two collapsed, damaging coriander and spinach that were ready for harvest.

She said she could have avoided the damage if she had cleared off the snow in time. “But I had my booster dose and was down with a fever on that day.”

Kinley Bidha said that it is almost time to grow vegetables and she is worried whether she will be able to repair the structures or replace them before the transplantation of tomato seedlings begins.

The agriculture extension officer of Tsento and Dogar said that they received some damage reports from the farmers describing bent metal frames and damage to the plastic roofing.

Both Haa and Paro dzongkhag agriculture offices are still compiling the damage reports.

Dzongkhag agriculture officer of Paro, Tandin, said that it is difficult for the extension officers of some gewogs to visit the fields and monitor the situation due to the snow.

He said that the office received damage reports from Tsento, Lamgong, and Lungnyi. “We will compile the report and send it to the ministry.”

Agriculture officials in Haa said they warned the farmers to put up additional support by January 30 as there was a chance of snowfall.