Twenty-six farmers from six eastern dzongkhags attended a lead farmer module course, which was designed by the Agriculture Research and Development Center (ARDC) in Wengkhar, Mongar, to increase agriculture extension and outreach services.

After the completion of the course, the farmers will be formally certified as ‘lead farmers’ under the commercial agriculture and resilient livelihoods enhancement program (CARLEP).

The trained farmers will assist dzongkhag agriculture officers (DAOs) and gewog agriculture extension officers (GAEOs) to increase and expand agriculture extension services and outreaches.

In the module that was divided into four different courses spread over a period of one year, farmers learnt about quality farming of crops, vegetables and fruits.

Programme coordinator and CARLEP officer, Karma Wangmo, said farmers have to attend all four courses to be certified a lead farmer.

The farmers are selected by respective DAOs and GAEOs. Karma Wangmo said that preference was given to women and youth farmers.

She said the objective of the ‘lead farmers’ training was to bridge the gap between agriculture researchers and the agriculture extension services through “farmers to farmers’ training approach.

Tashi Phuntsho | Mongar