Limited wetland restricts farmers from growing extra paddy

Phub Dem | Paro

It has been almost ten days since the paddy transplantation began in Paro using machine.

The machine transplantation usually takes place two weeks before the traditional method.

Sonam Tshering, a  farmer from Wangchang, has already completed transplanting paddy on  three-acre land using machine.

Although the Covid-19 situation demands extra initiative from the paddy growers, he said that limited arable land was the main challenge facing the farmers today. “We cultivate in the same area every year. Even though we want to contribute during this critical time, we don’t have an option.”

He planted paddy saplings in the nursery for machine transplanter in huge amount this year. “I had planned to transplant using machine in case the government restricted gathering of farmers in the field.”

He said that many young people were not keen about paddy cultivation, as the cost of production was high with no profit. “About 50 women are required to transplant in three acres which the machine could complete in a day.”

He said that the production was enough for his household. He  sells the surplus rice every year amounting to Nu 200,000.

Tshering Lhamo from Jangsa is yet to complete transplanting paddy on her 63-decimal land. She said that the production was sufficient for her large family.

According to Paro dzongkhag’s agriculture officer, Tandin, there was no specific focus on paddy cultivation for the Covid-19 related situation.

However two groups comprising of tailors and tourist guides are cultivating paddy in a small scale in Jagathang, Paro.

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