Power tillers for Wangdue and Punakha Dzongkhags
The Minister for Agriculture and Forests, Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji handed over twenty six power tillers to the Thrizins of Punakha and Wangdue Dzongkhags last Wednesday. Out of which, eleven power tillers are for Punakha and fifteen for Wangdue . With this handed over, it will cover 106 geogs as of now. He also expressed his interest to provide the same to the rest 99 geogs as soon as possible.
These power tillers will mitigate farm labour shortages optimizing land utilization and land intensification, promoting agriculture commercialization. While the hiring services will improve accessibility of the farm machineries to marginal and poor farmers who cannot afford to own the machineries.
The power tillers will be stationed in respective geog or agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests whereby management and hiring of the machine will be taken care by geog extension officers. As per the Interim geog power tiller hiring guideline, the hiring rate is reflected as Nu. 1400 per day which is inclusive of machine operators charge, fuel and the basic maintenance.
‘I know it’s difficult for one power tiller to benefit the entire geog but it’s better to have then none’ the Minister said in his inaugural speech. Additionally Lyonpo also asked the geog Thrizin and Extension officers to provide dedicated services with equity and transparency. Thus reminded them that it laid in their hands to make a good use to benefit the people.
Further knowing the constraints, the Minister expressed the current government’s plans to provide at least one power tiller each to the Chiwogs. He also stated their plans to import power tillers and to make it available at the same rate to those people who can afford it. With the distribution of power tillers and the management guidelines, the geog representatives were hopeful that it will ease farm drudgery and enable them to cultivate the fallow lands contributing towards self sufficiency and self reliance.