Chillies’ price hike impacts consumersPhub Gyem and Sonam Pem, Thimphu
Nov 25 2016
Hike in the price of chillies following its import ban is taking a toll on consumers in Thimphu. A kilogram of chillies now costs Nu 300-400. About a week ago, a kilogram of chillies costs about Nu 100.
Among the consumers, it is the people falling in the lower income bracket who are bearing the brunt.
“If the price of chillies goes on increasing like this, it is going to affect people like us who don’t earn much. And with winter season already round the corner, the situation will only get worse as people don’t grow chilies in winter,” said a resident of Thimphu, Karma Jigme.
Another resident, Namgay said it is as if Bhutanese people are robbing one another.
“I would rather buy meat as it is comparatively cheaper,” said another resident, Choden.
Local vegetable vendors say, farmers charge up to Nu 4,500 for a sack of chillies, which weighs 20 kilograms.
“To buy chillies from our farmers, we have to hire vehicles or take our own. Including transport and other related costs, the expenditure comes to over Nu 5,000 per sack. We don’t have any alternative than to charge Nu 300-400 per kilogram.”
The Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority banned the import of chillies since July this year.
A test found imported chillies contained pesticides harmful for human consumption.