Phub Dem  | Paro

Jabesa villagers known for their vegetables have more reason to increase their cultivation this year.

Water scarcity has been a big challenge for the 24 households in Jabesa, which is about an hour drive from Chuzom, and other farmers in Dogar gewog.

In an attempt to address the water shortage, Jabesa village installed its first rainwater harvesting tanks.

Paro dzongkhag agriculture office (DAO) in collaboration with Renewable Natural Resources Research Development Center (RNR-RDC) in Yusipang, handed over the project worth Nu 20,000 to the farmers on yesterday.

Farmers expect the 40,000 litres tank would cater enough water for their 63 acres of fallow land.

The dzongkhag agriculture sector conducted feasibility studies in Dogar gewog last year.

Dzongkhag agriculture officer, Tandin said that the dzongkhag decided to pilot Jabesa village since the village left land fallow due to shortage of irrigation water.

“The village is also identified as a pilot organic village because of its isolated landscape.”

In addition to the regular vegetable farming, the farmers would also focus on quinoa plantation as a part of organic agriculture, Tandin said.

The dzongkhag provided tarpaulin, water pipes, water pumps and machinery with technical support from agriculture research and development centre in Yusipang.

Initially, farmers were not interested in taking up organic farming due to poor harvest, but with the rainwater harvest project, farmers were excited, Dogar Gup Lhap Tshering said.

He said that the farmers would have enough water supply for irrigation during the rainy season. During the dry season, the village plans to divert a nearby stream to fill the tank.

“Such a project will help farmers. I am exploring alternatives to implement more rainwater projects in other chiwogs under my gewog,” Lhap Tshering said.

Dogar gewog is the fifth gewog in Paro dzongkhag after Lango, Dotay, Hungrel and Lungnyi to implement the rainwater harvest project.

The dzongkhag further plans to set up a new rainwater project in Shaba gewog.