Potato crop loss

Farmers of Shemagangkha Chiwog in Chapcha, Chukha, lost close to two third of their potato crop, their main source of income, to heavy rains.

“The chiwog sells about 1200 metric tonnes (MT) of potato in a year but this year it came down to 800 MT,” said Rinzin Dorji, former Tshogpa of the Chiwog. “Apart from potato, nothing is cultivated in our Chiwog.

“People with better soil quality did have good yield but for others it was a nightmare,” Rinzin Dorji said. The chiwog generally supplies potato seed to Bjacho and Mewang gewogs but this year apart from the low yield the quality was also poor. “This year from the fifth month, we experienced continuous sunshine for a month and the land became dry and hot. Then it rained heavily for five days, ,” the former tshogpa said.

Dzongkhag officials came for inspections.

“They took samples of the potato and soil and found that the potato was not infected with ant disease but it was all because of the erratic climate,” the former tshogpa said. The dzongkhag administration has decided to provide a minimum of 4 to 5 packets of potato seed to each household in the chiwog.

Dorji, 55, said last year the quality and quantity was good but they did not get the expected price. This year though the quantity was good 60 percent of the crop was spoiled. “I am worried of having seeds for next year’s potato season,” he said. “The villagers are thankful to government for their support at such a time.”

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