Returns below expectation
Sonam Wangdi, PhuentshoglingOct 4 2013
It has been a little over a year since the establishment of Phuentshogling Gonor Chethuen Tshogpa, a farmer’s cooperative for vegetable production in Ramitey under Phuentshogling Gewog. Though the cooperative recorded a good yield of vegetables, the returns from the sales were not good.
Padam Bahadhur Ghalley is one of the members of the cooperative. He said, the first harvest saw about two truckloads of cabbage and a truckload of cauliflower. But while selling the produce, they faced difficulties because of the competition from the vendors across the border. They sold at a price ranging from Nu.2-30 a kilogram.
“The buyers expect the vegetable to look fresh. In this case, our produce looks inferior in quality compared to the imported ones,” said Padam Bahadhur Ghalley.
Till date, they have harvested three times and have earned about Nu.25,000. They sold their produce in the local market and through door-to-door service.
To help the initiative, 50 percent of the transportation cost was borne by Phuentshogling Gewog’s Agriculture Extension office.
Apart from marketing, they also faced problems in growing vegetable saplings for the next plantation.
“Last time I wanted to raise the saplings but due to excess heat and rain, it didn’t survive. This has happened twice and now, the third one, I am not sure how it will come out to be,” said Padam Bahadhur Ghalley.
As per the Agriculture Extension Office of Phuentshogling Gewog, even if the saplings fail to survive in one village, it can be supplied from another in the gewog.
Moreover, the extension office has also started its own nursery to help the farmers during such cases. In case of marketing, officials said, it has been just a year since the tshogpa was formed, so it will take time for them to capture the market.