Disaster Report on Buckwheat damage

 

Unusual heavy and continuous rainfall damages sweet buckwheat in Gomdar Gewog.

 

Background

Gomdar gewog is one of the largest sweet buckwheat producers and have instituted a buckwheat marketing group, which sells/markets buckwheat to Bumthang Organic Group and other Dzongkhags every year. The crop revival and the group formation was initiated by the EA, Mr Tsheten Drukpa in collaboration with NBC and Dzongkhag. Buckwheat is also one of the supplementary source of food and cash income for the farmers of Gomdar gewog.

 

Disaster/Natural Calamity

Unfortunately, the unusual and incessant heavy rainfall from 12th Oct-14th October, 2016 has caused huge damage to the sweet buckwheat in Gomdar gewog. Although there was no damage to other crops and risk to infrastructure and lives of people, the damage to sweet buckwheat was severe. As per the Agriculture Extension's report, around 74.5 acres (which is equivalent to 29,892 kgs) of buckwheat field belonging to 201 households in the gewog were damaged. The crop as per his report seems beyond scope of gaining health and produce expected yield. Almost all the plants, except in few pockets were lodged and collapsed down which was further attacked and damaged by rodents. Almost 90% of the crops were at peak flowering stage and rest 10% were at early flowering stage because they were delayed in sowing and have minor damage.

 


Figure 1. Lodged buckwheat at early and peak flowering Season in Gomdar Gewog.

 

Recommendation/Suggestion

Considering the huge loss, the DoA/Disaster Management were requested to kindly look into the matter and source support to help recover the loss of the farmers to console the farmers and to keep alive the buckwheat cultivation in the gewog. Buckwheat in other gewogs has totally disappeared and the present disaster is likely to discourage the farmers in continuing the crop unless some kind of support is extended from the Department or relevant agencies. As long as the Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector is concerned, the office has already discussed to help with buckwheat seed next year. However, we feel that they need to be compensated for their loss especially for such type of classic farmers/group as they help in maintaining cereal diversity in the area, otherwise we may lose the crop and will be difficult to revive again in the face of technology advancement and wide option for farming.

 

Compiled and submitted by:
Dorji Gyeltshen
Dz. Agricultural Officer