The three aspiring candidates from Trongsa highlighted various issues during public debate which was held on 27 March.
During the debate, Tashi Samdrup raised the issue of human- wildlife conflict. He said that electric fencing around farmlands has helped farmers in protecting their crops and increase production. But he stated that not much is being done when it comes to wildlife predation against domestic animals and its intrusion in human society.
In such situations, he said that it would be wise to review the rule on compensation for the benefit of the farmers and local residents. He further stated that he would look into the matter with seriousness and review the policy on compensation for those people affected by wildlife attacks.
Meanwhile, Tharchen said self-sufficiency in farming is crucial for development of the dzongkhag. He said 70 percent of the people are dependent on farming. However, he said there is only 15 percent of land available for farming. “Of the 15 percent, only 7 percent of land is useable for farming purpose. For now, farmers have used only 2.9 percent land for farming, out of 7 percent,” he added.
He said such meager usage of land for farming is a concern as it affects the goal of food self- sufficiency. “In a survey done worldwide, it was learnt that due to climate change, the agriculture production will go down to 50 percent (estimated) by 2050,” he said.
“In 2016 alone, our country has imported rice worth of Nu 1.5 billion. When this is the situation, we are not able to meet the amount we earn from what we export (hydro-power).”
Therefore, he said that his first priority is to make the policy for self-sufficiency by working together with every relevant people and to give this as his priority in 12th FYP.
During the debate, Tharchen questioned his fellow contender, Gyem Dorji, on why 34 farmers committed suicide out of 92 suicide cases registered in 2016, and the steps can be put in place as deterrents to such crime.
To this, Gyem Dorji said that as modern day development, the number of suicide case is increasing every year. He said that he cannot pinpoint the exact reason for suicide cases as it is a complex issue.
He said, “There is law in place, however, there is need of reviewing the policies and guidelines for such issue.” He also said that apart from dealing the issue scientifically, one needs to apply religious aspects to balance the issue.
He said, “It would be much effective if the people receive sermons from the prominent religious figures on the negative aspects of suicides rather than we carrying out the advocacy.”
“If I get elected, I will work hand-in-hand to tackle the issue, review the existing policy and guidelines to deter such an issue in the country.”