Tsirang’s favourable climate encourages mass banana cultivation

Given the favourable climatic condition to carry out farming works throughout the year, Tsirang has been seeing an increasing number of farmers taking up agricultural and livestock production works. Among them is a middle-aged man who ventured into mass banana cultivation. He grows the fruit on over three acres of land and plans to further expand cultivation. 

40-year-old Ratna Bdr. Kararia from Tathang village started cultivation with a few banana trees as a pilot project in 2018.

Two years later, he expanded his banana farm after availing Nu 200,000 loan from the Bhutan Development Bank. Today, his farm has five varieties of bananas with over one thousand trees.

“Earlier, without a proper farm road to our village, I didn’t grow anything on my land and as a result it was left fallow. Later, the district agriculture sector developed fallow lands making it easier to grow crops.  And starting 2016, there was also a plan of connecting our village to Tsirang-Wangdue Phodrang highway. So, that is when I started growing more banana trees.”

Half of his banana trees have already started bearing fruits. His fruit trees started to fetch him around Nu 75,000 from this year. Ratna says although it is difficult to market the fruit he plans to further expand cultivation by growing bananas on nine acres of land.

“I am expecting a better market because the banana production will increase when I further expand the plantation. Currently, vegetable and fruit dealers are reluctant to visit my farm since I am not able to sell in huge quantities. I am expecting around four to five bolero pick-up truckloads of bananas in a week once all banana trees from my 12-acre farm start fruiting. I also plan to take the bananas to the markets myself,” said Ratna Bdr. Kararia, a farmer.

With the construction of bypass connecting Tathang to the Tsirang-Wangdue Phodrang highway underway, Ratna is expecting better prices for the fruit.

Banana fruit can be either eaten ripe or cooked. The ripe fruit is considered a good source of vitamins A, B and C and potassium, while cooked one is rich in carbohydrates.

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