Chhimi Dema

Namgay Dorji, a 28-year-old farmer, is staring at the five acres of farmland in Nobgang village in Samar, Haa where he has been working with his three friends.

They planted five metric tonnes of seed potatoes in the past five months. Namgay Dorji and his friends are part of the first agriculture group in Haa. They hope to be profitable and engaged through this group.

Currently, the group is focusing on growing potatoes and carrots, but plans to grow high-value crops such as asparagus and strawberries in the greenhouses they plan to construct. The group will build six greenhouses to grow crops during the winter months.

Haa dzongkhag agriculture has provided power tillers, hired an excavator for land development, and installed a new technology of electric fencing for the farmland. The dzongkhag agriculture officers provide technical assistance and frequently visit the farmland to offer support.

The group is planting potatoes on the farm currently

The land previously served as grazing land for cattle. It was redeveloped in 2017 and taken over by the Nyachuthama Sanam Detshen, an agriculture group formed by villagers with 60 households, but this group failed. This time, the dzongkhag administration wanted to provide youth with an opportunity to make the best use of the land.

Tashi Wangchuk, an assistant agriculture officer, said that the dzongkhag wants to support the youth so that they can lift themselves and the community.

Although the youth group is aware of the challenges of marketing produce and the difficult climatic conditions in Haa, they are optimistic. Namgay Dorji said that they might have more opportunities to market their produce as the produce is grown organically in Haa. The group is excited to face any challenge.

The members invested Nu 50,000 each to buy seeds, power tillers, and pay wages for some helpers. They currently lack farming technology to boost their efficiency but remain focused on their goal. They hope to continue working in the field for the next two decades and pass on the business to the younger generation.

Rinzin Dorji, 28, a member of the group, said that working together with the group is an opportunity to earn well. “We are working very hard so I know there will be a result for our efforts.” Although there are times when they are worn out from work, they still push themselves because they enjoy farming.

Namgay Dorji believes farming is the most suitable job for him, considering that he grew up in a village. Despite trying other ventures to earn a living, none of them was successful. He finds farming rewarding and fulfilling. “Other opportunities would be nice, but farming is what I have in my blood, and I am happy doing it.”

The youth agriculture group’s project is inspiring and serves as an excellent example of how youths can make a change in their community.