With the old irrigation canal repaired and connected to a different water source, farmers in Sipsuni village of Lhamoizingkha gewog are busy this winter.

Most farmers are seen in the garden, growing vegetables.

Still new in the farming, Jangchub Dorji, 52, has grown chilies, cauliflower, broccoli, beans, and tomatoes this winter.

“I am very thankful for the support we received from the agriculture offices,” he said.

Jangchub Dorji said he received mulching plastics, plastic tank, mortar, water pipes and dripping pipes. “We don’t need to buy any vegetables this winter and we are 100 percent self-sufficient.”

He said this year is the second year government provided such facilities to farmers. “We are told we have to do on our own after three years.”

With good irrigation and water supply this year, Jangchub Dorji also said winter is better for vegetable farming in Sipsuni. “Excessive rain and heat during summer spoil the vegetable.”

Another farmer, Damberi Kumari Koirala, also has a thriving garden.

“Irrigation canal helped this time,” she said. “We also have our own community canal as well.”

Damberi also rears cattle at home and has manure.

Although chilies are not growing as expected this year, Damberi said tomatoes, peas, spinach, broccoli, and pumpkins growing well today. “Rabbits are the onlyproblem,” she said.

With the irrigation, Saraswati Gurung, 56, is also able to water her dying areca nut trees this winter.

“With sufficient water, the leaves are green,” she said. “Our irrigation canal was damaged before but now it was repaired and serving well.”

Sipsuni tshogpa, Rohit Koirala, said the water is brought from Kalikhola river this year whereas, in the past, the source was Setibagar.

He said Sipsuni villagers would achieve vegetable self-sufficiency if there is consistent water supply.

Rajesh Rai | Lhamoizingkha