From this July, every rural household in Samtse will own at least one vegetable garden. To achieve the country’s goal of food security and self-sufficiency, the Dzongkhag Administration is starting ‘one household, one vegetable garden’ initiative. The initiative is also expected to help in times of pandemics.
About 76 per cent of rural households in the 15 gewogs of Samtse own a small kitchen garden and grow varieties of vegetables today. But the dzongkhag administration says it is not enough.
Samtse Dzongda Pasang Dorji said it is very discouraging when even vegetables have to be supplied from town areas to villages in times of lockdown. “It is also against the policy of achieving 100 % food sufficiency.”
Agriculture officials said some show lesser interest in growing vegetables because of unfavourable weather and limited gardening knowledge.
But Godhak Singh Ghalley from Lamaithang village under Samtse Gewog has been growing vegetables and selling them in Samtse for the last three years. He says varieties of vegetables can be grown in the district.
“During winter, it is possible to grow all kinds of vegetables. But during summertime, it is different. We have to study what vegetables can be grown as only limited vegetables can be grown during summer due to heat,” he said.
As such the idea of one household, one vegetable garden was floated recently. Under the new initiative, all rural households will at least have to own a 10 decimal vegetable garden.
“All rural households will have to grow vegetables depending upon the various season. We have talked with the experts and they have informed us that a minimum of three vegetables can be grown here in different seasons. And I believe we can grow them as well,” the Dzongda added.
The dzongkhag agriculture sector will support all individuals with seeds and technical support. The initiative will not be implemented in urban areas due to limited space available in nearby town areas. However, depending upon the response, there are plans to identify and support interested residents through the urban agriculture concept.
Passang Dorji, Samtse
Edited by Sangay Chezom