Boosting paddy cultivation in Tashhichoeling village





Desuups , engineers and locals working at Tareythang Water Projects

Sangay Rabten

Gelephu

Farmers of Tashhichoeling chiwog under Tareythang gewog in Sarpang dzongkhag can now cultivate paddy on time with the launch of Tareythang Water Project.

The 9th Water Project under De-Suung National Service, the Tareythang Water Project in Umling Dungkhag was launched on 28 March.   

After the launch, this year farmers of the chiwog are particularly optimistic that the new irrigation canal would be reliable and it would be a transformational in their paddy cultivation.

The farmers shared that they could not maintain their old irrigation canal as they had to rely on monsoon and nearby stream which used to dry soon after paddy cultivation. Around eight households stopped the paddy cultivation due to insufficient water for almost three years.

An elderly farmer of Tashhichoeling village Tenzin (63) said he left his paddy field barren for a year due to water scarcity. “Now with coming up of the new irrigation scheme, I can resume my rice cultivation. We, the farmers, are very much thankful to His Majesty, government and Desuups for initiating this project,” he said.

Tenzin Wangda (43) said that there was no proper water supply in the past. Yet, people kept working and now he says the new water project will boost both their interest and also boost rice production in their village.

Dorji Tshewang (40) said the farmers usually have to depend on erratic rainfall and short seasonal spring water for paddy cultivation. He left paddy cultivation for three years.

“Now, I want to resume my paddy farming. Hereafter, farmers can maintain an exact cultivation calendar with this new water project. We owe our humble gratitude to His Majety The King, Ministry of Agriculture and to all the related officials who made this possible.”  

The tshogpa of Tashhichoelin chiwog, Pema Choezom (30) said that though there was no proper channel in the past people still practiced paddy cultivation. She said “now with improved irrigation efficiency, their farming, production and even income may improve.

Tareythang Gup, Narayan Neopany, said the farmers were struggling to carry out paddy work with insufficient water supply. He said that from this water flagship program, not only it will benefit for paddy cultivation but also for vegetable cultivation during the winter.

The farmers are happy about the project as farms have survived the threat of a dry harvest and all offer thanks to His Majesty, Government and Desuups.

Meanwhile, Sarpang dzongdag Lobzang Dorji, during the inauguration ceremony, reminded the farmers to use the channel ‘with care and concern.’  The Dzongdag pointed out that in the past facilities after construction were not taken care by the government and the public.

He said that when His Majesty extends so much love and concern to the farmers. The public should support the project and take care of the infrastructures with deep sense of belongingness.

The project, which cost more than Nu seven millions, is for the construction of a 1.7-kilometer high-density polyethylene pipeline as a conveyance from the Singye Chhu intake weir, and internal distribution system within the command area.

The irrigation scheme will irrigate over 50 acres of dryland and over 10 acres of wetland, benefiting the livelihoods of 24 households and 16 other Thram-holders.

This irrigation project is executed by Desuups, and implemented in collaboration with the Armed Forces and the Royal Government of Bhutan, with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry as the main Royal Government of Bhutan as the partner agency.

A total of 35 De-Suups from the 42nd, 43rd, and 44th batches are deployed for a period of three months. Umling Dungkhag will support the execution of the project on a day-to-day basis, with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests providing technical support. Additional local labour force have also deployed according the Gup.

The irrigation scheme will be handed over to the Gewog and the beneficiary community after completion, and the users will be responsible for its operation and maintenance.

The Dzongkhag Rabdey’s Lam Neten presided over the Salang Tendrel of the new water source. Armed Force personnel and officials from Dzongkhag, Dungkhag and Gewog were also present during the launch.

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