Farmers disappointed

Agriculture:Hari Gurung, 36, from Tsendagang gewog in Dagana, who shifted to cultivating cardamom a few years back is disappointed with the price and  yield of his crop, this year.

The father of two decided to grow cardamom on his two acres of land after his neighbour, who had cultivated cardamom on a few decimals of land, made a good profit.

“The local contractors are offering only Nu 700 per kilogramme of cardamom while it fetched Nu 1,500 per kilogramme last year,” he said. “It is very disheartening especially after investing so much effort,” he said.

Hari Gurung attributed the low yield to inadequate rain during the flowering period of the crop.

Another farmer from the locality, Tek Bahadur Gurung, from upper Gangzur in Tsendagang is also disappointed with the prices being offered by local contractors.

Tek Bahadur Gurung sold around 56 kgof cardamom from his 80 decimal plot of land at Nu 1,300 per kg last year. This year he was offered between Nu 700 to 800.

Tek Bahadur Gurung said that after toiling day and night, the prices being offered are disheartening. He pointed out that farmers depend on the crop as a major source of income.

But he added that his situation is still comfortable as all his children are already employed. Tek Bahadur Gurung said that farmers who are solely dependent on agricultural produce and those who have to support their children may face difficulties.

Tek Bahadur Gurung also added that starting last year, diseases have affected the crop causing the whitening and drying of leaves.

Cardamom is grown by farmers of the south central dzongkhags of Dagana and Tsirang in large scale. Cardamom takes three to five years to bear fruits.

The farmers of Dagana grow cardamom and oranges as their main cash crops.

Yeshey Dema | Dagana