After five years of venturing into complete organic farming, Gungring village of Chhuzom Gewog in Sarpang is on the right track. In 2018, the Department of Agriculture identified the village as a Model Organic Village to improve the livelihood of people through crop diversification and income generation.
For decades, farmers of Gungring village have been practising farming only for self-consumption. It was only in 2018 after the department of agriculture’s intervention that the farmers ventured into commercial organic farming. The farmers were provided training, greenhouses and an irrigation channel.
Today, a farmer’s group comprising 45 members have around 50 acres of agricultural land under cultivation. They grow cabbage, cauliflower, potato, eggplant, carrots, beans and various kinds of fruits.
“We had limited knowledge about farming techniques and had no surplus agricultural produce. But after the training by the agriculture officials, we started vegetable farming not only for our self-consumption but also were able to supply schools in our locality and the Gelephu market. We are now committed to not only supplying within the locality of our gewogs but across the districts and the country,” said Goru Sanu rai, a farmer in the village.
“After forming the group and started working together, we were able to supply to schools, staff, Jigmeling Police Training Center in Gelephu during the summer season. Further, we are also able to supply to the district and the Thromde,” said Bal Kumar rai, another farmer.
“We grow all the varieties of vegetables from broccoli to cauliflower and chillies. We are able to reap immense benefits. Last year I earned Nu 80,000 from selling chillies. But for vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, they have low rates and the highest earning we have been able to make is between Nu 10 to 15,000,” said Tula Ram Kaflay, a farmer.
The farmers also produce their own organic fertilizer to promote higher yields of crops.
“In replacement of the chemical fertiliser, we have started making manure compost to use in our farms. From the advice of the experts, we have been producing local fertilisers from cow’s urine, dung and leftover veggies,” said Goru Sanu Rai.
“We have been taking advice from the research centre and accordingly practising farming here. When in doubt, we ask fellow farmers around and work together,” said Tula Ram Ghalley.
In an attempt to become a fully organic country, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock initiated the concept of an organic model village in 2018.
The concept was developed through funds from the Asian Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative to help in establishing the basis to replicate in other villages.
Karma Wangdi, Sarpang
Edited by Sonam Pem