Even Out The Farming Field
‘I was born and raised in Ngawang Ramtoe. As a child, I faced many difficulties starting from the lack of food and clothing to the inaccessibility of health services, and scarce water supply. We did commit to agricultural activities as we did not have the necessary skills or resources. Non-wood forest food products such as ferns, mushrooms, and tubers along with cultivated maize and millets were our primary diet. To supplement the food shortage we bought vegetables and food items from the Phuentsholing with the little money we had. With Tarayana Foundation’s support, our lives and the community have improved drastically.
I am a beneficiary of the Tarayana Foundation receiving housing improvement intervention, toilet construction aid, and water tank supply. The Tarayana field officers have introduced us to agriculture well as guided us to change our diet. We have a safe and secure water supply at our doorstep. We can also easily avail health services with well-connected roads.
I am married. I have two children and both of them go to the Taba Ramtoe Lower Secondary School. My family started cultivating vegetables about three years ago which has empowered us to live self-sufficiently. Recently, I have cultivated cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, radishes, and carrots. My husband is at Pasakha working at a construction site. He leaves home for a month or two every year to work at construction sites to earn income for the household to function. When he is here, he helps me with labor-intensive activities such as plowing and tilling soil and sowing seeds.
We take our vegetables to the neighboring towns of Phuentsholing, and Samtse when we produce a high volume of products. This year we could not produce vegetables at the desired level because of the lack of water.
Before involving in agriculture, I used to earn by rearing domestic animals and working at construction sites in Thimphu and Paro. I feel happy to be able to stay home with my children. The constant interactions and exposure from the Foundation have also improved my fluency in Dzongkha and Lhotshamkha. I feel proud that my family doesn’t need to travel far to buy vegetables. Except for physical strength, I feel women are equal to men in agriculture. We could work independently and produce efficiently if we had farm machinery. My agricultural target for this year is to produce threefold times of vegetables than before which I feel is possible if we had a sufficient water supply. I am worried about my children’s future and I constantly advise them to focus on their studies, be humble, and live harmoniously with others.’