Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

After remaining fallow for over a decade, around 35 acres of paddy fields in Wobkhar, a few kilometres below Yadi town along the Sherimoong gewog road is cultivating paddy again.

More than 30 households of Yekhar and Pelshuphu chiwogs in Ngatshang gewog, Mongar are reviving the paddy cultivation in the place.

It is just about half of 100 households of two chiwogs in the area. The other landowners are yet to start.  

Farmers decided to revive the fields after the gewog maintained the irrigation canal. Plenty of rain this summer helped.

Farmers said that lack of adequate irrigation forced them to leave their fields fallow. The irrigation canal drawing water from the small brook nearby his village, which was the main source, was washed away by landslide 12 years ago.

Since then Yeshi Tshewang from Yekhar chiwog left his two langdos of wetland fallow.

“The harvest used to be sufficient for my six-member family but we had to give up growing paddy for there was no water,” he said.

Another farmer, Phuntsho Namgay, from Bumpazor village said if adjacent fields were  left fallow then there won’t be sufficient  yield to harvest due to predation  by wild animals.

“We’ll insist rest of the landowners to join us and cultivate their fields compulsorily.”

The gewog supported with pipes to maintain the irrigation canal and tap the spring water.

The farmers are also getting a permanent irrigation canal soon after the ongoing new 9-km irrigation channel from Jabari, Chaskhar gewog is complete.

Ngatshang gup, Dorji Leki, said the project was expected to complete towards the end of this year or early next year.   A farm road was constructed in 2017.

Farmers are also planning to grow commercial winter vegetables once their perennial water problem is solved.