Agriculture: More than a year after being planted, hazelnut trees in some parts of Chukha are showing progressive growth and leading to high hopes among growers.

One of them is Sangay Zam, a resident of Tashigatshel in Bjachho gewog. “The plants are growing good,” she said, adding that she expects good harvests in the future.

Sangay Zam planted about 500 hazelnut trees on an acre of land.

Another hazelnut hopeful is Mikha Dorji. He has planted 3,500 hazelnut trees on 18 acres of land in Bjachho. “They are growing really good,” he said.

However, since this is the first time they are growing hazelnut trees, there are some concerns.

One grower in Tsimasham, Kencho Dorji, said he is not sure how the trees will grow. “It is growing in height but I am not sure how it would do when it is time to fruit,” the businessman said.

Kencho Dorji and his father planted 500 hazelnut tree saplings last year.

Meanwhile, the people of seven gewogs in Chukha have planted over 1.3 million hazelnut trees on about 260 acres of private land that were fallow.

But there are some who are shifting to kiwifruit cultivation.

The hazelnut venture, which started in 2011, will plant about 10 million hazelnut trees in five years.

Rajesh Rai | Tsimasham