Farm Road User Group Training

December 10th, 2019


Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag is situated in the Southeastern corner of the country sharing its Southern and Northern borders with the Indian States of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh respectively. The Dzongkhag has two Dungkhags with eleven gewogs, 58 chiwogs and is one of the biggest Dzongkhags in the Eastern region after Mongar Dzongkhag. It has a population of 40,766 (20786 male 19980 Female), with 4808 households and an area of 1877.94 sq. km. The altitude ranges from 200 meters to 3600 meters, temperature 14 to 36 degrees centigrade with an average rainfall of 5309.40 millimeters annually.

In recent years, the Dzongkhag has seen rapid progress in infrastructural facilities development especially the farm roads. To date, all the eleven gewogs are connected with gewog connectivity road and all most all the chiwogs have access to farm roads. However, these farm roads are mostly in poor condition due to poor management and monitoring. In this regard, Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector in collaboration with Dzongkhag Administration and Gewog Administration initiated a two-day intensive training on “Farm Road User Group” for 58 chiwogs with funded support from CARLEP and DLG, MoHCA, Thimphu. The training was attended by more than twenty five participants including chiwog tshogpa.

The training aimed at creating awareness among the farmers on the following:

  1. To understand the importance and role of community
  2. To understand the impacts of a good community.
  3. To instill team spirit in the community.
  4. To instill a sense of ownership of the community facilities.
  5. To create awareness of the strategies for farm roads maintenance.
  6. To form new User Groups/Revitalize the existing ones.
  7. To understand the roles of Community towards Community Facilities-Farm roads, RWSS.
  8. To understand the roles of User Groups in maintaining the Farm roads.
  9. To prepare a plan of action for the routine maintenance of roads and water schemes.

The participants were provided a plateform to clarify their doubts, express their challenges, and share their experiences throughout the training. Further, the participants were actively engaged in interactive group discussions, story telling, and teamwork activities. Overall, it was an interactive session, each participant took an active part in the discussion, sharing ideas, and making presentations.

Training output/outcome

1. Participants were able to understand the importance  and roles of a strong community

2. User Groups were formed in all the Chiwogs

3. Existing User Groups were revitalized

4. User Group Bylaw was drafted

5. Participants were equipped with the knowledge and skills required for User Group Formation.

Post Training activities

Community in action – farm road maintenance

Follow up mechanisms

1. The User Groups will ensure that the farm roads are properly managed with a timely maintenance throughout the year. Further, the User Group will implement the User Group bylaws strictly to ensure the proper functioning of the Group. At the Chiwog level, the Tshogpas will be instrumental in making the User Group function well.

2. The Gewog administrations will also play a pivotal role in ensuring the proper functioning of the group. The Gewog functionaries will make a visit to farm road from time to time, and provide assistance to the User Groups.

3. The District Agriculture Officer will monitor the implementation of the bylaws, and regular maintenance of farm roads. Work of the User group and the condition of farm roads will be reviewed quarterly basis, and follow-up action will be taken stringently. If necessary, the Dzongkhag review team will meet with the executive members of the User groups, and convey the recommendations.

4. The Dzongkhag administration will conduct review meetings for at least twice a year with the Gewog administrations, and discuss the issues and activities of the User Groups.

Submitted by

DAO, Samdrupjongkhar

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