Chimi Dema | Sergithang

After a bountiful harvest and good prices of chili in the last season, about 50 percent of the households in Sergithang, Tsirang are now focusing on winter chili production this winter.

The 76 farmers from three chiwogs of Sergithang Toed, Tashithang and Sergithang Maed are preparing to grow chili on 31-acre land.

Last year, only about 20 households in the gewog grew chili.

The gewog agriculture extension officer, DB Ghalley, said that given the market prospects, many farmers were focusing on chilli production. “A kilogram of chili could fetch a minimum of Nu 200.”

He said that the farmers who grew chili last season made around Nu 50,000 from each harvest. “They could harvest at least once in two weeks.”

As of yesterday, more than 50 farmers in Sergithang Toed and Tashithang chiwogs had completed transplanting the first batch of seedlings on about 29-acre land. Others are waiting for plastic mulches.

DB Ghalley said that the consignments were on the way and farmers are expected to begin transplantation soon. The production would start coming to market beginning February until May.

“Besides meeting the demands in Tsirang, we are looking at supplying chili to other dzongkhags,” he said.

Sergithang produced about 17MT of chili last season.

A farmer in Sergithang Toed, Bir Bahadur Rai, who is growing green chili on one-acre land, is hoping to produce a harvest worth Nu 0.6 million (M). Last season, he made around Nu 0.3M.

The farmer said that with the help of mulching plastic, it is expected to produce about 500kgs from each harvest.

“I have made an investment of about Nu 60,000,” he said.

Another farmer, Chandri Rai, is growing chilli on 50-decimal land. “When the government provides nursery seedlings and encourages us, I felt it was important that we come forward to take up vegetable farming.”

Besides seedlings, some farmers are provided with plastic mulches.