English | Dzongkha Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Mandarin export begins in Gelegphu

Dec 11, 2020

With the start of the mandarin export, unemployed youth and housewives take up mandarin export-related works at Gelegphu mandarin export depots. Usually, at this time of the year, Indian workers can be seen working at the depots. However, the entry of Indian labourers was denied due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year.

The mandarin export from Gelegphu began yesterday. And it is an opportunity for both the Bhutanese exporters and workers to earn a good income. Yesterday, three truckloads of mandarin were exported to Bangladesh.

With no Indian labourers to take labour works at the mandarin export depots, Bhutanese are seen keen in taking up the work. 306 unemployed youth, students and housewives are employed in segregating and packing of mandarin at depots in Gelegphu. The works include segregating, packing, loading and unloading.

Dechen Zangmo, one of the workers at the depot said, “the only benefit is that if we work, then we can earn some income rather than staying idle at home.” Another worker said “It is very cold in Paro. So, I came here as it is pleasant out here in winter. Moreover, we cannot learn anything by staying idle at home. I came to explore some experience. Earlier, Indian workers carried out the works and the money went out of the country. And why not we grab the opportunity this year?”

Some of the unemployed youth said they can acquire experience. An unemployed youth, Kezang Choden said, “Everything is possible through experience. I get motivated to venture in such kind of business”. Another youth said, “I hope to venture into the export business after two to three years. If we learn now, it will be easy for us. That’s why I came here.”

Although it is an opportunity for the Bhutanese to gain experience and earn some income, exporters claim Bhutanese youth are denying to work at low wage rate. Exporters said they have to guide the labourers throughout the day.  Sangay, an exporter said “I  exported two truckloads of mandarins yesterday and it is very challenging because all the labourers lack work experience and new to this kind of work. Our work should be ready on time as mandarin is a perishable item.”

There are only eight mandarin exporters this year. Last year, there were 13 exporters. And some 10,630 metric tonnes of mandarin were exported last year.

Karma Wangdi

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