Nim Dorji | Trongsa

Chilli, one of the main source of income for the farmers of Bemji, Trongsa has failed this year leaving villagers worried.

At this time of the year usually the farmers begin to harvest and sell chillies.

A villager, Sonam Choden said that this year right after the chilli plants started bearing fruit the root began to rot.

“Every year, I sell around four sacks of chilli and buy the required essentials. But looking at the yield this season, I am worried that I won’t be able to earn much,” she added.

Chilli transplantation begins in the fourth month of the Bhutanese calendar and harvested in the seventh month. The transplanting ends in the sixth month and it becomes ready for harvest by November, but this year the chilli plants are dying already.

Another villager Thinley Dorji said that unlike the previous years this year they experienced more rain which caused the chilli saplings to die.

This year he is worried that the harvest from his fields would be enough only for his family. “I’ll have nothing to sell,” he said. 

“The saplings are dying and the pesticides they got from the agriculture extension office is not helpful,” Kuenzang Wangmo said.

By this time the fields in Bemji turn red as chillies ripen.

“The saplings are still small and some are only starting to flower,” another villager said.

The people of other villages also reported poor yield of winter chilli this season.