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Saving a village in Dagana
The once erosion and landslide prone farmland with low productivity is now a fertile, productive and vegetative farmland. The rural livelihood of the farmers was under serious threat, but after the introduction of new agricultural practices and rehabilitation of degraded farmland, the livelihood for the villagers are strengthened.
The Sustainable Land Management Programme is helping 40 households of Loduma Village in Trashiding Gewog, Dagana Dzongkhag to combat land degradation and secure sustainable farmland for future generations. This village is part of a bigger project promoting Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices in Dagana, Sarpang, Samtse, Bumthang and Trongsa. A community group comprised of members from all households has been formed to initiate this joint effort in combating land degradation and securing sustainable farmland.
Apart from terracing and building check dams to control soil erosion, the community members were introduced to new agricultural, horticultural and animal husbandry technologies and practices. To meet the demand for fuel wood, fodder and fruit trees, the project supported a nursery on private land voluntarily contributed by the gup. The community nursery has raised several varieties of mango, oak, desmodium, paspulam and napier grass, which are now being distributed to community members.
Through the project, community members also received training in nursery management, and composting. The entire exercise was strongly embedded in the principles of participation, participatory approach and local capacity building. The locals were involved right from the planning and design stage to implementation, monitoring and evaluation of different project activities
The gup remarked that through the innovative SLM practices, they have reduced soil loss, thereby increasing fertility and productivity. The dzongkhag has also noticed substantial increase in crop productivity.
"We are now growing a variety of vegetables and selling it for a profit along the road. This has lead to increased income for the villagers" said the gup.
The village now produces a variety of agricultural crops as most of the uncultivable land is brought under cultivation through SLM best practices. The group has opened a joint account with the Bhutan Development Finance Corporation ( BDFC) and so far they have accumulated a savings of Nu.33,500 through the sale of farm produce.
The project is a replication of the UNDP/GEF SGP’s Salamji Land Management Project and is financed by the Global Environment Facility, Royal Government of Bhutan and the UNDP.
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