Friday, 4 July 2008

Cardamom yield on the decline in Bara geog, Samtse

July 4: Farmers of Bara geog in Samtse say that their cardamom harvest has declined significantly in the last three years. They said their cardamoms are getting wilted leading to low yield.

Each household in the geog owns about an acre of cardamom. Cardamoms are an important source of livelihood for the farmers of Bara. They harvest cardamom from October till December.

Man Maya Gurung of Gongdey village in Bara has about an acre of cardamom fields. She said cardamom yield has been declining for about three years now. She has now switched to maize.

The Bara Gup Rinchen Dorji told BBS that until 2000 cardamom harvest was good. Then a single cardamom plant used to give about a kilogram of cardamom.

Today a single plant bears about 200 grams of cardamom.

The Dzongkhag agriculture officer, Tshering N. Penjore said the major diseases of cardamom are chirky, foorkhey and cardamom wilt.

He said chirky and foorkhey are both viral diseases and use of insecticides is not recommended, since the diseases live inside the soil and it is difficult to kill. It is also not cost effective.

He said the farmers have been recommended to clear the land of infected plants and leave it fallow for five years to practice crop rotation and build a proper drainage system. They are also encouraging farmers to plant new cardamom plants.

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