Agriculture sector continues to face significant crop loss

This is as per the report recently released by the agriculture and forests ministry, Annual Agriculture Survey

Despite 80% of the country’s population engaged in agriculture, the agriculture sector continues to face significant crop loss.

A report recently released by the agriculture and forests ministry, Annual Agriculture Survey, which is the first of its kind, finds out the estimated area loss for major agriculture produces in the country for 2019.

According to the ministry, among the reasons for leaving wetland fallow, irrigation problem still continues to be the most common reason, followed by crop damage by wildlife and labor shortage.

The report finds that about 1,787 acres accounting to 6% of the total area sown of land were lost in the paddy cultivation.

Samtse Dzongkhag recorded the highest area loss for producing irrigated paddy followed by Sarpang with12% and Tsirang with 10%.

The total area for paddy cultivation has declined over the years as 53,055 acres recorded in 2016 fall to 31,574 acres in 2019.

Similarly, for maize production, 4,754 acres of land that is 13% of the total area sown 37,238 acres were lost. Maize was harvested in 66,042 acres of land in 2017.

Samtse Dzongkhag recorded the highest area loss accounting to 13%, Mongar and Sarpang lost 12% respectively.

Moreover, area lost by agriculture holders range from 3% to 5% for production of major vegetable at the national level.

For potatoes, about 422 acres that is 4% of the total 10,764 acres of potatoes sown was lost and the highest loss was recorded in Trashigang at 20%, Mongar at 19%, and Wangduephodrang at 13%.

Moreover, 194 acres of chillies that is 5% of the total 3,718 acres of area sown were lost. Mongar Dzongkhag with 19% recorded the highest loss followed by Lhuentse with 13% and Wangduephodrang at 13%.

From the total of 1,791 acres of cabbage sown, about 54 acres that is 3% were lost by the households. Paro with 49% accounted for the highest area loss, Haa, 8% and Mongar, 6%.

About 24 acres of cauliflower that is 3% of the total 875 acres of area sown were lost and the highest lost was recorded in Dagana, 16%, Monggar, 15% and Sarpang, 9%.

From the total of 765 acres of asparagus sown, about 14 acres that is 4% were lost by the households.

The highest area loss was recorded from Mongar that accounted 34%, 11% from Sarpang, and 9% from Lhuentse.

From the total of 16,415 acres of cardamom sown, about 800 acres or 5% were lost. The highest lost was recorded in Samtse, 48%, Sarpang, 15% and Chhukha, 10%.

Additionally, from a total of 2,449 acres of ginger sown, about 62 acres or 2% was lost. Samtse recorded the highest lost at 45%, Chukha, 27% and Sarpang recorded 13%.

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu