Farmers who cultivated chili last winter in Nichula, a gewog in Lhamoizingkha, Dagana are today busy harvesting the produce.

Chilies from the gewog have also started to hit the market and are sold at Nu 100 a kilogramme. It is also sold in Thimphu.

A farmer from Gangtokha, Tanka Bdr Chhetri, a class XII graduate said he harvested about 70kg recently.

Tanka Bdr Chhetri said he has about 90kg of chilies in the field, which would be harvested soon.

Farmers like him said there is need to do more marketing in places like Thimphu, which has a large population and where demand is more.

Tanka Bdr Chhetri planted chilies in January on about 20 decimals of land. “Manpower and water are the main problems we face,” he said.

Another farmer, Rajesh Mongar, a university graduate, from Nichula said that he sold more than 200kg of chilies. “We took some to Thimphu,” he said.

He said it would take about a week’s time to bring the chilies to the market. The university graduate had planted chilies on one-acre land.

Nichula’s agriculture officer Dawa Tshering said the production is good this time. “These are spring chilies,” he said.

He said that Nichula farmers have become more enthusiastic with the harvest and that more have shown interest to cultivate chilies next time.

The department of agriculture provided materials and seeds to farmers in the southern belt and encouraged chili farming last winter.

It is a three-year project that would study the potential of growing winter chili.

Chili nurseries were initiated in September 2017. About 20 farmers have taken up chili farming in Nichula.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing