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Tsirang tries growing Bhutanese chilli

Bhutanese chili. Photo: Kuensel. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

TSIRANG, Nov 13, 2019, Kuensel. The popular variety of chilli cultivated in Trashiyangtse and other parts of the country will now be grown in about four gewogs at Tsirang, Kuensel online reported.

Nurseries have been raised this month in Semjong, Sergithang, Gosarling and Rangthangling gewogs of the dzongkhag. Tsirang farmers have been cultivating local chilli varieties in winter for many years now. However, the Bhutanese chili will be tried for the first time this winter.

Chilli transplantation would most likely be in January. Agriculture officials said that the four gewogs were identified based on the altitude of the place. Within 40 days, the nursery should be ready for transplantation.

District’s agriculture officer, Dorji Gyeltshen said that growing the chili could substitute import. “As we focus on growing banned vegetables such as cauliflowers, beans and chillies, growing different varieties would give farmers more options.” He said that the introduction of such a variety if successful could uplift the livelihood of the farmers.

The dzongkhag has become a major supplier of winter vegetables over the years.

A farmer from Dzomlingthang village, Chenga sells vegetables for a living. He cultivates mostly beans, cauliflowers and potatoes. The 52-year-old is among the farmers trying out the Bhutanese chili this winter.

He said that chillies from Trashiyangtse was most popular. “We’re hoping that the trial is a success here as the market seems to be good.”

Agriculture extension officers said that the dzongkhag distributed seeds and plastic for mulching to farmers interested to grow chillies.

Another farmer Human Doj said that the vegetable grown in winter is more profitable. “Cultivating vegetables in summer is hampered by shortage of water as we depend on rain.”

Winter vegetables fetch better price in the market, he said.

“I plan to first grow chillies in about 50 decimal. We also work on paddy cultivation but the focus has now shifted to vegetables.”

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