Increasing demand for combine harvester delays paddy harvest in Paro

Paddy harvest in most villages of Paro are delayed this season. This, farmers say, is due to the limited number of combine harvesters which are available for harvesting paddy. The use of combine harvester machines has gained popularity in the district since last year as it has eased the paddy harvesting work. However, most of them are frustrated with the current situation as they are racing against time to start their paddy harvest.

Due to the time and labour efficiency, farmers in Paro wait for the combine harvesters to start paddy harvest.

The machines can harvest and thresh paddy simultaneously. A farmer pays Nu 355 for harvesting paddy in five decimals of land using a harvester.

According to the Farm Machinery Corporation, they have 24 such machines, and they have distributed eight machines each to about three Gewogs.

This, the villagers said, is inadequate. With the delayed harvest, farmers are worried as the frost and the cold weather will damage their crop.

“It is getting late for harvesting now. When it is delayed, then the quality of rice will be compromised. We cannot sell it as buyers will complain,” said Tshering Zam, a farmer from Nemjo.

“The problem is the same every year. It has been about five years since we started using the machines. When we try to harvest the paddy early, the weather does not favour us. Later, everyone starts the work at the same time and there are a limited number of machines,” said Zam, another farmer from Nemjo.

“October has come to an end. If the frost damages the paddy, we cannot fetch a good price for the rice. That’s why, we are facing problems. This year, the harvest is almost nearing completion. So, we will be benefitted if we are provided with more machines from next year,” said Chencho, who is also a farmer.

“The main reason for the delay is because of the limited number of machines. I want to request the FMCL to repair the machines before the onset of the harvest season,” said Tshewang Rinzin, Nemjo Tshogpa.

“The problem will be solved if the FMCL procures more combine harvester,” said Gyeltshen, Lunyi Mangmi.

On the other hand, despite considering it a top priority, FMCL is unable to purchase additional equipment due to financial limitations.

According to the corporation, the harvest works could not start on time due to bad weather. The FMCL said they have harvested 600 acres of paddy so far. Last year, by this time, they had harvested 1000 acres of paddy. In Paro, farmers grow paddy on 3,500 acres of wetland and the district produced more than 9,600 metric tonnes of paddy last year.

Namgay Wangchuk, Paro

Edited by Tshering Zam

The post Increasing demand for combine harvester delays paddy harvest in Paro appeared first on BBSCL.

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