Choki Wangmo | Tsirang

Most farmers in Tsakaling in Padtshaling Maed had left their land fallow for many years.

Villagers now hope to cultivate crops and vegetables.

Due to the rocky nature of the soil, residents, mostly from Tsakaling in Mongar, have not been able to use the land economically.

There are about 20 households in the village.

“Since nothing grew in this kind of soil, my husband works as a cook in the nearby school. We even tried adding fertilisers,” said a resident, Chimi Dema. She said that once the land development is completed, her husband plans to join her on the farm.

With the support of the dzongkhag agriculture sector, her one-acre plot of land was developed two weeks ago.

“Now I have to clear the rocks, which will take many days to complete,” she said.

She tried growing cabbage and paddy last year.

The villagers mostly depend on maize and beaten maize for their livelihood.

A resident, Changala, said: “We are hopeful.”

He said that farming was difficult on steep slopes, as the soil did not retain water and was prone to nutrient erosion. Yesterday, his 3.3 acres of land was altered into a gentle slope with the help of machines.

Padtshaling gewog’s agriculture extension officer, Sangay Dorji, said that about 10 acres of land would be developed in Tsakaling, and 45 acres in Padtshaling Maed chiwog.

“With such soil quality, farmers are demotivated. But many literate youths are now back at home. The development might encourage them to take up farming,” Sangay Dorji said.

The dzongkhag agriculture sector has allocated more than Nu 3 million for land development activities.