YK Poudel | Dagana 

Unlike other paddy-growing dzongkhags that suffered due to a delayed monsoon, an irrigation water project has saved the farmers of Dogak Chiwog in Dagana from meeting the same fate. 

The five-kilometre-long irrigation system starting from Ghimiray kholo to Gaugang has given hope to 20 households in the chiwog, who earlier left their land fallow due to a shortage of irrigation water. 

Madan Chuwan, a farmer, said that several paddy fields in Dogak chiwog were left fallow due to a shortage of irrigation water and labour. “We are hopeful of a better approach from the farmers with the availability of timely water and farm machinery.” 

Dagana is the fifth-highest rice-producing dzongkhag in the country, contributing six percent to the country’s total production. Last year, the dzongkhag produced 2,386.81 metric tonnes of rice.

Leki, who completed the paddy cultivation almost a month ago said that with available water from the water project, the paddy growers can complete the cultivation faster than before. “In the past, we had to share the small stream among us, often leading to misunderstandings. It took months to complete the cultivation.”

The plantation work in the chiwog is going smoothly with almost half of the households in the village completing the cultivation. The students on vacation have been added to the farm labour. 

Pema Wangchen, a student, said that the work has become a part of his summer vacation for a few years now. “In recent years, the irrigation water project has helped the farmers with abundant water where two households can work simultaneously.”

The water is used for paddy cultivation during summer and for cardamom or growing vegetables during other seasons. 

Built at the cost of Nu 600,000 from the Gozhi Gewog fund, the project was completed in 2018.