English | Dzongkha Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Red hot chilies burn holes in pockets


May 21, 2011

The sun dried red chilies are a must have ingredient in many Bhutanese dishes but with their price soaring through the roof of the centenary farmers market, it may have to saved only for rare and special occasions.

A kilogram of red chilies costs Nu.800 to Nu.1000.

Karma Wangmo, a customer, came all the way from Soe Naro in Paro to buy red chilies at the centenary farmers market. She went home without buying a single kilogram. It is simply beyond her meager means.

“There is a huge difference between last year and this year. Last year, a kilogram cost Nu.400. Now it is double,” she said.

Yeshey Namgay, a teacher, cannot do without chilies. “For the Bhutanese, chili is a must. The price has increased but we have no choice,” he said.

Aum Singey Bidha has been selling chilies at the Centennial Farmer’s Market in Thimphu for almost 11 years now. She has never seen the price of dried chilies rise so high.

“The chili yield was poor. I bought at Nu.700 from the wholesale dealer and sell for Nu.800.”

With the Monsoon around the corner, farmers in chili growing areas are already preparing their fields for chili cultivation. The harvest will be dried and sold next year. One can only pray that this year, the rains will come on time and the harvest will be bountiful.

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