English | Dzongkha Wednesday, October 27, 2021

FCB branch office in Khangma lacks proper storage facility


Sep 9, 2021

Unlike in the past, farmers in the east no longer go to Samdrup Jongkhar to sell potatoes. The Food Corporation of Bhutan is collecting the produce from their doorstep. But the corporation’s branch office in Khangma in Trashigang is finding it difficult to store it.

Rotten potatoes are being thrown away at the Food Corporation’s office in Khangma. There is no option since there is no storage facility. Potatoes are kept out in the open on wooden pallets covered with plastic.

Farmers from Trashigang, Monggar, Trashi Yangtse and Lhuentse have been bringing potatoes to Khangma since last year after the agriculture ministry directed the corporation to buy potatoes from the farmers.

“Right now, we don’t have cold storage facilities. Potatoes are getting damaged but we are not sure how much is spoiled as we are still collecting from the farmers,” said Tshewang Tobgay, the Manager of the FCB Branch Office in Khangma, Trashigang.

Farmers have almost finished harvesting potatoes. It is time to earn some cash. And it has become easy with the FCB collecting from the villages.

“It is always better for us if we don’t have to transport. We have to borrow money if we have to take potatoes to Samdrup Jongkhar and bear extra expenses,” said Druptho Wangchuk, a farmer from Yangnyer Gewog in Trashigang.

But today, the corporation has stopped storing potatoes. It is directly transported to Samdrup Jongkhar to minimise the loss. The government and the FCB have been losing millions with no market to sell the produce.

But a cold storage is being constructed at Gomchhu, about 25 kilometres away from Kanglung towards Samdrup Jongkhar. It will be ready by December. The construction was supposed to be complete last year if not for the pandemic.

Sonam Darjay, Trashigang

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