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Avocado farming, a success story in Pema Gatshel

Not many took interest when the avocado fruit was introduced in Pema Gatshel about a decade ago. But today, avocados have become one of the most popular cash crops in the district. Our Pema Gatshel correspondent Thinley Dorji brings this story of one of the first farmers in the district to take up avocado farming and his journey thus far.

Fifty-eight-year-old Phuntsho Wangdi first ventured into avocado farming in 2015 when the agriculture sector initiated a trial project and gave out free saplings. Since then, his avocado orchard in Nangkor has become full of avocado plants and trees.

“These plants have borne excellent fruit which I have been able to sell it at the market without any problem. This prompted me to consider producing saplings on a commercial scale, and that was when I started doing it,” said Phuntsho.

Since 2021, his fortunes have improved further, thanks to the Million Fruit Tree project, which purchases his saplings. The Million Fruit Tree Plantation project, a joint initiative of the DeSuung National Service and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, aims at supplementing the national goals of achieving food security and supporting farming communities.

According to Phuntsho Wangdi, making money is not an issue as long as one demonstrates unwavering dedication. He expressed satisfaction, having never encountered difficulties selling his avocado plants in the market.

“I gained experience by working on sapling production for a few years. This is the second year of mass production, and I have received inquiries about the number of saplings I can produce from my nursery,” he shared.

However, he expressed concerns about the future market for avocados, as more people are becoming interested in avocado cultivation. He is hoping the government will look into exploring export opportunities for avocados in the future.

Phuntsho says, “I have never heard of the possibility of exporting to other countries. We are keen on expanding this cultivation, but it seems that products from all districts are only marketed in the capital for now.”

For the current season, Phuntsho Wangdi has raised over 8,000 saplings, which he plans to sell for Nu 150 per plant. Last year alone, his earnings from selling avocado saplings amounted to approximately Nu 500,000.

Phuntsho Wangdi’s success story in avocado cultivation is a testament to the power of perseverance and the transformative potential of agriculture. It is a reminder that with the right support and opportunities, individuals can unlock their potential and achieve extraordinary success.

Thinley Dorji, Pema Gatshel

Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen