Thursday, July 24, 2014

Scythe Project in Bhutan?

Looks like these Bhutanese farmers would benefit from some scythe training, 
and some better-fitting snaths they could make from local tree branches.
(Photo linked from HelvetasBhutan)

In the Kingdom of Bhutan, yak herders have problems with fodder shortages during the winter:
The long, dry winter period affects the productivity of livestock. Fodder scarcity is severe from January through April. Production is at its lowest during these months and in the case of yak, milk production is low to nil. Yak herders have also reported high mortality due to fodder scarcity. It is therefore very important that we look into solving fodder shortages... 
-- Tshering Gyaltsen, Experiences with Oats at Temperate and High Elevations of Bhutan, 2002

 The following photographs are linked from the document titled Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profiles, Bhutan, by Kinzang Wangdi, 2012 update (photo source: Tsering Gyeltshen):
Harvesting oat fodder in Bhutan for making hay for yaks

Oat fodder at high elevation (4,000 m)

Traditional method of drying oat hay at high elevations in Bhutan

Used efficiently, scythes have a much higher productivity than sickles, and can help amass sufficient hay to last the winter (as currently done in the mountains of modern-day Switzerland, for example, and in snowy Canada).  

A team of Canadian volunteers from the Scythe Project in Nepal could swing over into Bhutan to give training, if desired. (Interested organizations can contact Alexander Vido for details.)


Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation | Bhutan,

Experiences with Oats (Avena sativa) at Temperate and High Elevations of Bhutan, by Tshering Gyaltsen (Programme Officer, Livestock Sector, RNRRC, Yusipang, Bhutan), 2002

Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profiles, Bhutan, by Kinzang Wangdi, FAO, 2012 update (Photo source: Tsering Gyeltshen)

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