Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a boon for many farmers, as they found an easy market for their farm produces.

Residents of 11 gewogs in Samdrupjongkhar are growing vegetables for winter. There is mass cultivation in Pemathang, Phuentshothang and Langchenphu gewogs, as it is in low altitude.

According to the assistant dzongkhag agriculture officer (ADAO), Chorten Tshering, although people grow various vegetables, they prioritise on chilli, tomato, onion, carrot, beans and cauliflower cultivation.

He said that about 2,039 households started cultivating vegetables on more than 243 acres of land from October.

Chorten Tshering said they provided seeds and other technical support worth Nu 9 million (M) through the commercial agriculture and resilient livelihoods enhancement programme (CARLEP) and economic contingency programme (ECP).

He said that about 961 households cultivated chillies on 134.83 acres of land and about 662 households took up onion cultivation on 59.56 acres of land while 416 households grew tomatoes on 49.25 acres of land.

“Our target is to produce 126,532 metric tonnes (MT) of chillies, 116,237MT of tomatoes and 72,217MT of onions until April next year,” Chorten Tshering said, adding that the gewog agriculture extension officials are also engaged in the vegetable cultivation.

He said the first produce of winter chillies is expected to hit the market next week.