Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 - 6:33 AM

Not of their making nor to their liking

DSC_6021Opposition leader (Dr) Pema Gyamtsho

The opposition makes its stand clear on the recent pay hike Opposition: Members of the opposition are willing and ready to forgo their salary raise if the government or the speaker clarifies that the National Council’s decision to defer their raise doesn’t violate any of the provisions of the Constitution or parliamentary procedures. Opposition leader (Dr) Pema Gyamtsho said, at a press conference, which 12 of the 15 opposition members attended yesterday, that the opposition was clear about its position on the salary revision and [... Read More]

Gewogs agree to boost food production

IMG_2187Wangdue dzongrab with Thedtsho gup Phub Namgay

Performance agreements have been signed to this effect with local leaders Sining: To implement what the dzongda signed with the prime minister in April, the dzongkhag signed similar performance agreements with local leaders to increase food production. Dzongrab Pema, who signed the performance agreement with 15 gups, said it was done with approval from the home ministry and after conducting thorough discussions and meetings at local level. In the agreement, the 15 gups agreed to increase food production. The 15 gups agreed to produce 3,900 [... Read More]

Most Uraps have cowsheds on govt. land

DSC09613Cowsheds in Ura Dozhi village

Ever since cattle were moved out of basements, they’ve been sheltered thus  GRF: If building temporary shelters for cattle on government land is encroachment, most of the 67 households in Ura gewog, Bumthang have encroached. And they are worried about their cattle, if the dzongkhag asks them to dismantle structures built on government land. The National Land Commission (NLC) recently instructed 10 dzongkhags to prevent people from either encroaching or illegally constructing houses on government land.  This includes temporary structures to shelter cattle. Ura Dozhi [... Read More]

Chokorling farmers fight a losing battle

IMG_4965Orange trees have died in almost all the villages in Chokhorling

If it’s not blight decimating orange orchards, its wildlife marauding maize fields  Agriculture: With disease outbreak and wildlife destroying crops, farmers of Chokhorling in Pemagatshel are increasingly finding it difficult to earn an income. For over a decade farmers of the five chiwogs under Chokhorling have been fighting citrus blight that spread among the orchards, almost all of which have trees that have dried up.  Chokhorling has 267 households. Farmer said citrus blight first hit Dezemo chiwog, a day’s journey by foot from the gewog [... Read More]

Drupchus – The only potable water in Lobesa

IMG_2117Project drivers ferry about 50 jerry cans of water everyday from Penzomgyelmo drupchu below Thinleygang

Shortage: With their drinking water sources blocked by muck from road widening works that is further disrupted by the continuous rainfall, people of Lobesa make use of drupchus (holy water) in their locality. Residents said, if not for the drupchu, they would have no choice than to drink muddy water. “Drupchu is clean and dirt free despite the change in weather,” a woman, who fetches drinking water from Wola drupchu, on the way to Punakha, said. Even Punatshangchhu hydropower project (PHPA) I employees fetch drupchu [... Read More]

Nub-Chutoe’s newfound forest wealth

IMG_1501Multi-tasking : Framers search for rhizomes on their way home from work

Plants in the wild have suddenly acquired value now that there is market demand Flora: Farmers in Nub-Chutoe valley of Trongsa have found a new reason to be in the forest. The farmers, who usually spend time in farm and forest doing daily work, have now started picking mushrooms, and collecting petals of Rosa brunonii and the rhizome Paris polyphylla. These plants are found abundantly in the locality, but only recently have farmers started collecting it, because they have learned that there is a market [... Read More]

Drying apple trees worry Dogar farmers

IMG_5026Without foliage: one of the diseased tree in farmer Rinchen’s orchard

The cause of the disease that has affected this vital cash crop is as yet unascertained Horticulture: Apple growers of Dogar gewog in Paro are anxious because some of the apple trees, supposed to be green with foliage and bearing fruits at this time of the year, are barren as if it were winter. The tree trunks are healthy but the leaves, farmers said, changed colour, dried and fell.  After the leaves fell, twigs and branches began drying up as well. Within four months, the [... Read More]

Roasted corn-on-the-cob sells like hot cakes

IMG_2102Growing business: Selling roasted corn on the roadside is picking up

So much so it is now a thriving business for many along the Thimphu-Punakha highway Maize: Selling roasted corn along the highway is growing into a money-spinner not just for maize-growers in Punakha and Wangdue, but also for the unemployed. The mother of one, Sabita, 20, is an unemployed class XII graduate.  She lives in Thinleygang with her husband, whose income as a driver is hardly enough for the family. For more than two years now, Sabita has been selling roasted corn with her sister [... Read More]

New Mr Bhutan crowned

20140628_195549Champion: Pema Thekchok was crowned Mr Bhutan 2014 on Saturday at the National Bodybuilding Championship (Picture courtesy: Sonam Dendup, Bhutan Bodybuilding and Weight Lifting Federation)

Bhutan to host Asian Championship in 2016 Fitness: The seventh national bodybuilding championship was filled with surprises. While the contestants were surprised by the news that Bhutan will be hosting the Asian bodybuilding championship in 2016, spectators were left amazed when Pema Thekchok beat the two time title holder, Tandin Wangchen, whom many expected to win again, to be crowned Mr Bhutan 2014 on Saturday. A few days before the event, Pema Thekchok wrote on his Facebook page to “expect the unexpected.” Pema Thekchok, 29, [... Read More]

Govt. to pump Nu 2.2B into irrigation

DSCN4001-1Irrigation will receive top priority

Along with farm mechanisation, this input is to receive top priority in the current FYP Agriculture: Recognising that climate change is altering weather patterns, which in turn affect crop production in Bhutan, specifically paddy cultivation, the government will invest Nu 2.2B into irrigation in the next five years. Monsoon rains arriving later, and ending sooner than usual, is disrupting crop production and farm productivity, which, in Bhutan, mostly means rice. In the mid and upper altitude areas, like Thimphu, Paro and Punakha, paddy transplantation usually [... Read More]

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