Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

Farmers in Phojikha are awaiting for agriculture officials to supply metribuzin weedicide, which is used to control weeds in their potato fields.

They grow potatoes in February and March.

According to Khemdro chiwog tshogpa, Tshering Dorji, people were worried about the gewog not receiving weedicide.

He said weeds started to sprout in the fields and it was important to have weedicides to ensure that the harvest wasn’t impacted. “If the weedicide isn’t used right now, the potato harvest will be hampered.  The weeds will affect the potato growth.”

In Khemdro chiwog, all 115 households cultivate potatoes as a main source of income.

Tshering Dorji said an acre of land requires around 500 grams of metribuzin and 250 grams of metribuzin costs Nu 565.

Concerned farmers have raised the issue to the agriculture officers.

Officials said weedicide would be supplied as soon as it is restocked in May at the National Plant Protection Centre (NPPC).

According to dzongkhag assistant agriculture officer, Domzang, NPPC was the only authorised agency to supply the weedicides. “Weedicides were out of stock at the centre due to the import restrictions during the pandemic.”

He said weedicides were required when weeds grow on a large scale during summer. “Weeds grow late in higher altitude areas. So it will be on time if we supply it in May.”

Phobji Gup Jamtsho said that people did inquire about the availability of the weedicide.

“The weedicide isn’t available at the source. If it is available, then we can bring it immediately for the people. For now, we cannot do anything.”

Similarly, few houses in Gangtey gewog are also yet to receive the weedicide.