Harvest Time in Bhutan- It is the happy time for peasants for the bountiful harvest


This time of the year, the lush green valleys and hills have turned into a mellow yellow field. Farmers are seen at their field to harvest paddy. ‘The year-long wait for the bountiful harvest is here, sings the farmers.


Bhutan has an area of 38,394 km and a population of approximately 700,000. It is a landlocked country situated on the south-eastern slope of the Himalayas. Over 72% of the country is under forest cover. The cultivated area is only about 3%, including wetland, dryland for horticulture crops, and fallow rotation. Rice is indispensable in the Bhutanese culture, tradition, religion, and farmers’ livelihoods. More than 69% of the population is engaged in farming with rice and maize as the main crops. Although rice is not the largest produced cereal in the country, it is the most widely consumed cereal.

Today the domestic production of rice has not been able to meet the demand due to low productivity. The domestic production of rice meets only about 50% of the total requirement. The deficit is met with rice imports from neighboring India. The insufficiency in rice stems from several factors such as limited wetland, use of low yielding traditional cultivars, low use of plant nutrients from inorganic fertilizers, weeds, diseases, and insect pests, and limited irrigation water supply.

Rice is grown from tropical lowlands (200 m) in the south up to elevations as high as 2700 m in the north. Because of Bhutan’s rugged topography, rice fields are generally terraced. To encourage farmers to cultivate rice, His Majesty the King of Bhutan has gifted 5 acres of land to needy ones to practice subsistence farming.

Iconic Paddy Field

Like the rice terraces of Bali that attract hundreds of tourists, the rice terraces near the most important landmark in the capital city of Thimphu namely Tashichodzong is the most photographed rice terrace in Bhutan. According to the locals, The land is given on lease to the farmers by the monarch to grow paddy without having to pay anything as compensation. The rice grown in the field is red rice.

These days, farmers are harvesting paddy around the vicinity. Most of the farmers working on the field are women from the eastern part of Bhutan. Out of curiosity reporter asked if the farmers migrated to the west in the capital city to work, many said they were housewives. For some of them, they have been working on the paddy field as seasonal labor for ages.


In a day, the labors are fed three meals with refreshments and local alcohol to the end of the day. Most of the farmers out in the field are loud with flamboyant characters. Imagine yourself harvesting paddy with your jovial neighbors, gossiping about the newly married couple in the village, having packed lunch, drinking local booze to keep you high and energetic. Singing to the rhythm of the wind and teasing man who passes by the field to quench your thirst by buying you bottles of alcohol.

The day slips in sharing only laugher and joy. The workplace like a playground and that is exactly why farmers at the paddy field though under the basking sun are seen as happy and full of energy.

Sharing Doma (Bettle nut ) 

In Bhutan, the paddy is mostly harvested thus the manpower plays a crucial role in paddy cultivation and harvest. If one wishes to experience the farmer's life in Bhutan, we recommend you to tuck your sleeves, put on gumboots and join the farmers in the field. This will be the most memorable experience of one's life in one season, the autumn season in Bhutan.

Autumn of 2020  


Related Posts

Lingzhi Yugyal Dzong; The Fortress located at Highest Altitude...

The pilgrim/ visitors will either have to trek from Paro or Thimphu or effortlessly avail of helicopter service from...

Nov 14, 2020 17:36

October the Peak Trekking Season in Bhutan- Where are you...

The mountains are the most prominent natural geography features of Bhutan. located on the southern end of the Eastern...

Oct 30, 2020 17:10

Domestic Tourism to boost Local Economy in Bhutan

Although Bhutanese have not seen tourists for the last few months, locals are riding the bandwagon of being "tourists in...

Oct 13, 2020 21:26

A Winning Chance to Visit the Most Isolated Kingdom in the World

Participate in Druk Asia Bhutan Trivia and stand a chance to win a pair of return flight tickets to Bhutan

Sep 29, 2020 12:14

The Significance of Jela Dzong

The journey towards the most popular Druk Path Trek starts with a short climb up to Jela Dzong. Jela Dzong is perched...

Sep 19, 2020 13:57

The Longest Urban Hiking Trail from PangriZampa to Lungtenphu,...

This trail is a less explored pocket of paradise for trekkers and wanderers who are in search of natures hospitality and...

Aug 05, 2020 10:40



Her Majesty the Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck is the individual laureate for 2020 UN Population Award

Nov 15, 2020 11:56

The Great Fourth King and Fifth King of Bhutan on Royal Tours amid the COVID-19 pandemic brought tears to many Bhutanese.

Many Bhutanese people eyes brimmed with tears. The heart was a knot of inexplicable emotions when they saw His Majesty the fourth King...

Oct 07, 2020 09:16


First streaming platform for Bhutanese films

Check out BESKOP - the first streaming platform for Bhutanese films!

Nov 18, 2020 16:05

If you can land in Paro Airport, you can land anywhere in the world

William Fernando Reyes Rosal hailing from Guatemala shares his experience living and working in Bhutan.

Nov 06, 2020 11:37


Football clubs in Bhutan gearing up for Bhutan Premier League (BPL) 2020

Bhutan Premier League (BPL), the top national football tournament in Bhutan is set to commence on August 1.

Jul 24, 2020 14:33

Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18


Bhutan- The Kingdom of Peppers

Bhutan is a country with the highest per-capita consumption of chilli.

Sep 26, 2020 09:15

Are Local Vendors Earning More Money Than the Civil Servant?

A Farmer from Lango, Paro gave up farming to be vendor while office goers are switching into agriculture as the remedy to curb their...

Jul 27, 2020 19:15


Lingzhi Yugyal Dzong; The Fortress located at Highest Altitude in Bhutan

The pilgrim/ visitors will either have to trek from Paro or Thimphu or effortlessly avail of helicopter service from Bhutan Heli service to...

Nov 14, 2020 17:36

October the Peak Trekking Season in Bhutan- Where are you trekking this season ?

The mountains are the most prominent natural geography features of Bhutan. located on the southern end of the Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan has...

Oct 30, 2020 17:10


Food on Wheels- First of its kind in Bhutan

The World's Largest Fast Food Restaurant Chains doesn't exist in Bhutan.

Mar 04, 2020 09:39

Amazing Stories from the Eastern Part of Bhutan

You can't say you have visited the eastern part of Bhutan unless you have experienced the following bizarre things.

Mar 02, 2020 19:02

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!