Nima | Gelephu

The agriculture sector has received improved focus and investment in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and many have ventured into commercial farming.

The Covid-19 task force in Zhemgang on Tuesday highlighted that the time had come for gewogs to provide the required vegetable items to the urban areas.

Zhemgang Dzongdag Lobzang Dorji said that huge investment was made in the agriculture sector across the country. “We sensitised the gewogs on the need to supply vegetable items should the lockdown prolong,” he said.

He added that many in the dzongkhag were engaged in commercial farming.

“We need to come up with a collection mechanism. The produce from the dzongkhag would be sufficient for the supply,” Lobzang Dorji said.

Zhemgang has no shortage of vegetable items.

A group of resort workers who started commercial farming in Kheng Buli in the beginning of the year started supplying vegetables in the dzongkhag.

Harka Man Subba, one of the members of the group, said that returns, however, were not as expected.

There are over 20 groups, cooperatives, and informal farmers groups engaged in commercial farming in the dzongkhag today.

In lower Kheng, tropical region, producing vegetables during summer is challenging because of incessant rain and unfavourable weather conditions.

Trong gewog in upper Kheng played a vital role in producing required vegetables to date.

A dzongkhag administration official said that the villagers were self-sufficient. “However, those living near town areas are facing a shortage of vegetable supply today, particularly cabbage.”

This is because the farmers in Goshing had a bad experience about two years back. Farmers produced a lot of vegetables but could not sell then. “This discouraged the farmers,” the official said.

The access to the market is frequently cut off by the roadblocks at Box Cutting at Gelephu and other points.

The authorised vendors are trying to get the required vegetables during the lockdown from Wangdue.