Pam farmers pinning theirs hopes on early variety potato

Neten Dorji| Trashigang

Farmers in Trashigang Pam are busy preparing to grow profitable early variety potato, which can ready for harvest 30 percent faster than other varieties.

The early variety remains in the market for a short time and is normally sold at Nu 25 to 30 per kg.

And this year, farmers believe the price will be as high as Nu 35 per kg.

“This variety is highly priced and very popular among buyers because of its early availability,” said, Sherub Lhamo, a farmer.

Traditionally, potato is usually planted in early November and harvested by early March.

The early variety potato is planted in November but this year, because of lockdown and late arrival of seeds, planting was delayed by almost three weeks.

Another farmer, Karma Lhadon, said she planted 22 bags of early variety potato. “I expected around 120 bags of potato this season.”

The people of Pam started growing the early variety potato since 1980 and has been a lucrative business for the farmers.

Ugyen Lhadon, a farmer, makes about Nu 150,000 every year from this variety of potato.

Chagzam-Pam Tshogpa, Gayley Wangchuk, said that variety potato has no market issue. “The buyers come at the doorsteps of the farmers.”

A minimum of five bags of potato seeds is distributed to farmers by the gewog administration.

The farmers sold more than 36 metric tonnes of potatoes in Thimphu and other dzongkhags last year.

According to the tshogpa, about 60 households in the chiwog were involved in growing this variety of potato.

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