Income: Samrang gewog in Samdrupjongkhar is known as “mango village”. Villagers are exploring ways to generate income from mango. Many have planted grafted trees.

Saplings were planted last year with the help from research development centre based in Wengkhar, Mongar in collaboration with the dzongkhag.

Villagers are now waiting for plant to bear the fruits. If everything goes as planned, farmers would be producing mangoes in large quantities.

Samrang gewog has five chiwogs and a total of 27 households. It was chosen as mango village because of favourable climate and topography.

About 10 interested households came forward to explore the opportunity and decided to plant mango tress in their land. Some 272 saplings were distributed, about 30 saplings to each household.

Assistant dzongkhag agriculture officer (ADAO) Sonam Phuntsho said the idea is to help farmers form a group and market mangoes for income. Juice and pickle factories are the possible markets.

“Mango village basically means an area from where one village is able to produce large quantity of mangoes,” he said. “Once they start selling the fruits, the villagers will be able to make good income.”

The ADAO said that there will be market because most of the factories in the country import mangoes from India. Bhutanese farmers would be harvesting mangoes right after the harvest season ends in India.

The programme was implemented in line with orchard development through research outreach programme funded by IFAD-MAGIP.

Sonam Phunthso said the sustainability and success of this programme entirely depends on management and farmers’ hard work.

Farmers were trained and were given technical guidance on how to take care of plants.

“Initiative from farmers themselves is very important. They cannot expect fruits immediately after planting the tress. We’re confident that mango village will be successful. Plants are growing well,” said Sonam Phunthso.

And if programme becomes successful, farmers can demonstrate and train other farmers or extend the programme to other gewogs.

Madan Rai, a villager, said this kind of programme will greatly help farmers make some income.

“However, with water shortage, it is little difficult to maintain the plants. But we hope this project will be successful,” Madan Rai said.

Yangchen C Rinzin,  Samdrupcholing