Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupcholing

The shortage of water is worrying members of Raling vegetable group in Pemathang gewog, Samdrupjongkhar as their chillies have remained dry.

The group had planted more chilli this season after the summer harvest that earned them good returns.

“But the group is facing an acute water shortage for farming as the source has dried,” one of the members said.

The group’s chairman, Tashi Dendup, said that the group had also cultivated other vegetables. “We store water for farming.”

A group member, Pema Tenzang, said the shortage of water affects production. “People lose interest in farming because of the water problem in the chiwog. We are confident that we’ll achieve our target if there is sufficient water.”

Raling chiwog tshogpa, Tashi Tshomo, said the gewog administration provided about 180 bags of cement for the construction of irrigation channel for Raling and Pemathang chiwogs. The gewog would also provide sand and pipes for the construction.

She said people from the two chiwogs would have to contribute labour. The irrigation channel would be constructed from the Wangphuri which is about four kilometres from the chiwog. “We are expecting to complete the construction within three to five months.”

Tashi Dendup said that the group not only targeted to substitute import by producing sufficient chillies but also to export.

Another group member, Sangay, said the group earned around Nu 400,000 by selling more than 1,587 kilograms (kg) of chillies in summer. A kg of chilli fetched between Nu 250 to Nu 350.

“We have cultivated winter chillies on more than 10 acres and would also grow on another 10 acres,” Sangay said.