Lhakpa Quendren

Many farmers in Kikhar in Ngangkor gewog, Zhemgang, have opted for grass-cutting machines, which have now greatly reduced their physical work.

Thinley Wangchuk, a 56-year-old farmer from Kikhar, purchased a grass–cutting machine for Nu 27,000 from Thimphu. “In the past, I had to hire eight to nine people to clear grass on an acre of land, which was laborious.”

He has a bigger machine so that it doesn’t overheat in case of long hours of use. “It has made our work much more convenient during the summer, every field needs grass cutting.”

Another farmer, Thinley Namgay, said that hiring labourers has become more expensive and challenging. “Even if we have money to pay for labourers, it is difficult to get them because everyone is engaged in their own work. The wages have also increased.”

Ugyen Sangay said that using sickles requires a lot of effort and takes several days to clear grass, whereas the machine can do the same job in just a few hours. “It can cover extensive areas in less time. I have cleared grasses on 50 decimal within two and a half hours.”

Ugyen has been using the machine for about four years. “The machine has not had any problems so far. However, there is a risk of injury if we are not careful.”

With grass-cutting machines, farmers say that they now have more time to focus on other agricultural-related work, especially during the busy cultivation season.