Neten Dorji | Trashigang

A youth agriculture group in Marphang, Trashigang is doing well.

Marphang Youth Commercial Organic Farm, which sits on 16.5-acre land, was inaugurated in November last year. Land use certificate (LUC) programme made it all possible.

Not a single member has farming experience. It wasn’t easy to begin from scratch. The group focuses on growing pineapple and green chili.

Chili did well last year. This year the group has expanded the cultivation.

“We piloted with chili and learnt that there was a huge market potential,” said the group’s leader, Kinga Wangchuk. “We could harvest about 800kg chili and made about Nu 105,000.”

Kuenga Wangchuk began thinking about commercial farming after officials from office of Gyalpoi Zimpon visited the gewog to encourage commercial farming.

A member, Pempa Tshering, said that farming was labour intensive. “But there is good return.”

He said: “My dream is to become agriculture entrepreneur and encourage youth to take up agriculture as a profession.”

Another member, Sonam Tshering, said the group was expecting to harvest at least half of the pineapple fruits by the end of this year.

“We don’t have to worry about the market. We have signed agreement with Bhutan Agro for 10 years,” he said.

He said hard work and patience was important.

“We had never worked during school days. It is quite challenging,” Sonam Yoesel said. “But the future is in agriculture.”

The group is also planning poultry farm.