Jarey Farmers Shift from Maize to Commercial Vegetable Cultivation
Deki Yangzom, from Jarey under Lhuentse Dzongkhag, has been cultivating maize on her one-acre land for ages. Amid COVID 19 pandemic, Deki saw the pandemic as an opportunity to take up commercial vegetable cultivation and bridge a demand-supply gap for local vegetables to promote self-sufficiency and decided to abandon the traditional maize cultivation system for commercial vegetables cultivation.
Similarly, several farmers in her community expressed a common interest to explore a new opportunity in commercial vegetable cultivation. Therefore, in July 2020, a group of nine members (8 male and 1 male), Jarey Sonam Detshen was formed with supports from the gewog extension office.
Deki says, “ I wanted to go for commercial vegetable cultivation on my land, so I suggested my friends and decided to form a group solely for vegetable production on a large scale. That’s how we came together to work in a team”.
Since the formation, the group has cultivated cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, radish, spinach, chili, and tomato on one acre of land, which is freely leased-out by Deki.
In the last four months, the group has sold around 3.5 MT of vegetables to retailers from Autsho town, and Mongar Dzongkhag.
“There is a lot of demand for vegetables in the market. Therefore, we can produce as much as possible without worrying about the market. The retailers from the region come and buy our vegetables weekly”, says Deki.
To date, the group has made a net income of more than Nu.30000 and expecting to earn more this winter. The marketing of the produces is being facilitated by RAMCO, Mongar, and the Dzongkhag Agriculture sector.
Nancha, Geowg Extension officer, says that the group has been supported with hybrid vegetable seeds, and greenhouse and drip irrigation on a cost-sharing basis, by Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector, with fund support from CARLEP-IFAD.
Likewise, the group will be further supported under the programme with the sprinkler installation and other inputs for improved performance both in terms of water-saving and increasing vegetable production substantially -building climate resilience.
Reported by Chhimi Lhamo, GKMO, OPM