Socially inclusive rehabilitation of fallow land for sustainable agriculture and farming in Dawami
Socially inclusive rehabilitation of fallow land for sustainable agriculture and farming in Dawami
1.1 Project Summary

In the 1900s, Dawami used to be a productive agriculture farmland. Now it has been about two decades since the farmlands are left fallow. Due to security reason in the early 2000s, farmers had to leave the place and settled at current place Dizema. With many years of inactive agriculture activities their area has become a forest-like landscape with thick vegetation and wild animals (such as Asian elephant and gaur). Therefore, farmers were unable to re-settle at Dawami. Few households settled and started farming. However, with elephant intrusion to their farmland, destroying agricultural crops, the land owners had to move back to current village. The village is located at 5 km from Nganglam town. Farmers have planted citrus orange and sustained their livelihood through the income generated from it. With outbreak of citrus greening disease, the orange trees were completely dried and vanished a decade ago. Farmers no longer earn cash from citrus.
Farmers have sustained their livelihood by growing cereal crops cultivation through slash and burn practices. They have limited fertile arable land for agriculture crops cultivation at Dizema which made them to practice slash and burn cultivation. On an average they have 0.60 acre land holding per household at Dizema which is inadequate for mass vegetable cultivation. Usually, by the month of December, farmers clear the forests (in their tharm) and burn after few weeks of drying of cut trees and bushes. By February they would start sowing maize seeds and would harvest by the month of June. Every household would clear forest in average of 1.3 acres to cultivate maize and millets. There are 60 households and more than 65% of Dizema would practice slash and burning cultivation where more than 30 acres cleared yearly. Then they would leave that cultivated area for four to five years. With continues clearing of forest at different locations had caused of drying of water sources. They had to safe guard their crops for more than three months and they would kill those animals like deer, wild bores, porcupine using trapes and with shooting arrow. During that crop growing season they would kill approximately of 20 to 30 heads. They are engaged in wild edibles collection which ultimately affected wild life making food scarcity for wild animals.
The people of Dizema are very much interested to settle back to their long-left land at Dawami because there is limited land at Dizema and there is increased of population and households which left them with no choice of slash and burn cultivation. they have submitted to gewog administration with written agreement that they would shift back to Dawami if necessary, support like fencing to stop human-wild life conflict and proper irrigation for crops and drinking water. Satsalo chiwog chiwog which is adjacent to Dawami has installed electric fencing using HDPE pipe poles. As per their experience fencing has help them protect their crops from wild animals like an elephant, deer and wild bores. So human-wild life conflict has drastically reduced during course of time. Before installation of fencing the people of Satshalo too faced so many problems by wild animals damaging their cultivated crops like maize field, planted areca nut plants which is main cash crops for their livelihood. This fencing had really changed their livelihood. So, similar fencing would install at Dawami to mitigate human-wild life conflict.

However, due to limited resources, the Gewog Administration could not support such rehabilitation initiative that can entail lots of resources. The project will have many benefits across all sectors. Firstly, it will help to resettle them at Dawami and revert 86 acres of fallow land back to agricultural production with seasonal and perennial crops plantation which would immensely contribute to achieving national food security. Secondly, it would enhance the rural livelihood through income generation by selling agricultural cash products. Thirdly, it would minimize rural urban migration of youths with engagement of youths in agriculture farming which would ultimately create job opportunities. Lastly, it will have multiple environmental benefits preventing loss of endangered wild flora and fauna, reversing land degradation, reducing carbondioxide emission with minimizing of slash and burn agricultural farming and enhancing agro-ecosystem services of current place called Dizema.
The proposed site Dawami has an altitude ranging from 285-480 m above mean sea level with latitude 26.493554 N and longitude 91.144102 E. The area has gentle slope with sandy loam soil. There are total of 52 fallow land owners (10 women and 42 men as per Thram record) with land holding of 86 acres comprising of three villages which are adjacent to each other however, more than 60 percent women are engaged in farming activities.
In order to address any negative impacts of the project, both social and environmental safeguards are put in place. The proposed sites would be erect with electric fencing covering 5.5 km to mitigate human wild life conflict. Fodder slips would be planted while carrying out soil land management for 86 acres to make fodder available for the cattle which would minimize fodder collection from the forest. Plantation of perennial crops like areca nut saplings and seasonal crops like chili, onion and watermelon at proposed sites would minimize slash and burn of the forest for agricultural farming.
This project has a strong and direct relevance to the GEF-SGP Country Programme Strategy, specifically the following strategies of Landscape level strategic priorities OP-7.
1. To improve Community-led Biodiversity friendly practices & Approaches.
2. To Improve Livelihood through Diversification of food Production, Value Chain Management Practices
3. To Demonstrate Innovative socially inclusive rural solutions/ approaches
4. To build Community Capacity to formulate & implement projects.

1.3 Project Objectives and Expected Results

The overall objective of the project is to enhance rural livelihoods through income generation by selling agricultural products with reverting fallow land for sustainable agriculture farming with youth engagement in the farm. This project would help to revert 86 acres of fallow land back to agricultural production with seasonal and perennial crops plantation which would immensely contribute to achieving national food security. It would minimize rural urban migration of youths with engagement of youths in agriculture farming which would ultimately create job opportunities for them and would have multiple environmental benefits preventing loss of endangered wild flora and fauna, reversing land degradation, reducing carbon emission with minimizing of slash and burn agricultural farming and enhancing agro-ecosystem services.

The project aims to bring the following changes as follows;
• To revert fallow land for sustainable agriculture and farming with youth engagement to create job opportunities.
• To use sloping agriculture land technology (SALT) to retain nutrient and moisture of the soil and prevent erosions and landslides at Dawami.
• To replicate HWC management approaches from Satshalo by using eco- friendly materials to minimize HWC incidences
• To enhance farming by providing adequate water for agriculture and household.
• To promote sustainable agriculture practices (agro-biodiversity, intercropping etc) to enhance livelihood and food production.
• To build rural capacity through hands on training of SALT, orchard and crops management, and other nature-based solutions.


 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Dawami Norjuenmai Sanam Detshen
Country:
Bhutan
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 49,800.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 13,311.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 49,635.00
Project Number:
BHU/SGP/OP7/Y2/CORE/LD/2021/10
Status:
Currently under execution

Grantee Contact

Mr Choki Gyeltshen
Phone: +975 77327179
Email: wangdadorji235@gmail.com
 

Address

Chokorling
Nganglam , Pema Gatshel , 44001

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Tenzin Wangchuk
Phone:
009752322424
Email:
Mr. Tshering Phuntsho
Phone:
009752322424 (ext:330)
Email:

Address

UN House, Peling Lam (Street), Kawajangsa, Thimphu, P.O. Box No. 162
Thimphu, Bhutan, 11001