English | Dzongkha Thursday, March 4, 2021

Outreach bank to the relief of orange growers in Nganglam

Jan 11, 2021

To ease the problems faced by orange growers and Indian traders in Nganglam, the Dungkhag COVID-19 Taskforce and the Bank of Bhutan have started a temporary banking service at the Mini Dry Port. And people are all smiles. 

Farmers take their oranges directly to the Pelzomthang Mini Dry Port, where they make dealings with the traders through phone calls. And it is where the problems arise.

The officials at the dry port receive the cash from traders and hand it over to the farmers. However, farmers alleged that they have always found a shortage in the payment.

They said that this created lots of apprehensions, after which they requested the Taskforce for an outreach bank.

”We don’t handle the cash, adhering with the protocols. They say we are being paid in full and hands over the money in plastic,” said Gyeltshen, a farmer from Kerong.

However, the temporary banking service at the dry port has humbled the farmers. Much to their relief, the cash handling job is being taken care of by the bank officials.

Nima Dendup said, ”we are very happy that we don’t have to worry about the shortage in payment and infection of the virus.”

Likewise, Dorji Gyeltshen, said through the bank they know if they get the right amount. It also gives them room for negotiation with traders should there be any deficit.

The bank officials receive cash from the traders and keep it in quarantine for three days. After that, they deposit the money to the respective farmer’s account.

So far, Nganglam has exported more than 25 truckloads of oranges worth Nu 15 million. The export began in the mid of last month.

Thinley Dorji 

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