A school principal retires to take up farming

Former Principal turned educated farmer Dawa Yoezer with his farm produce

Sherab Dorji

This is an inspiring tale. A former school Principal Dawa Yoezer, 46, has ventured into integrated agriculture farming with the people of Jangdung village of Saling gewog in Mongar.

The journey has been more than four years in the farming profession for this retired school principal who has raised eyebrows for his strange switch of professions.

However, this former educator says his profession has helped him discover his interest in agricultural farming. “I have served in the education sector for 19 years and that too mostly in the eastern Dzongkhags where I got the motivation from the rural people to be self sufficient and independent,” he said.

He further added that his wife and children are very supportive to him which made it easier to for the 46-year-old to pursue his work. 

In the last four years the principal-turned-farmer has engaged in agriculture farming in Jangdung village where he now grows both seasonal and off-seasonal crops in an area of 2.5 acres.

A variety of cash crops and hybrid crops like avocados and oranges, dragon fruits, citrus and seedless limes, and off seasonal vegetables like chillies thrive in his 2.5acre land and are taken to Mongar town for marketing without any challenges. 

“Selling off the crops is not a hectic job for me, rather I sometimes can’t meet the demand of the retailers,” he says. The only challenge he currently faces is climate change which is unpredictable for his crops.

He credits the government for being supportive towards the agricultural sector by making it easier to access resources for farmers like him in rural areas.

With the initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests he attended a commercial agricultural and resilient livelihood enhancement programme and led a farmer course at the Agricultural Research and Development Centre (ARDC), Wengkhar, Mongar.

“The training and the programmes have helped me a lot where I could help the people of my village and even encourage them to do integrated fruit and vegetable framing,” he adds.

The unemployment crisis in our country has risen drastically to a point where it has become very challenging for the government to tackle alongside various implementations of plans and policies. 

As per the Labour Force Survey Report 2020, over 22 percent of youth are unemployed and the overall unemployment rate in Bhutan increased to 5 percent in 2020 from 2.70 percent in 2019.