20 August, Thimphu: The 10th annual management committee meeting for Centenary Farmers Market (CFM) took place in the conference hall of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF).The meeting commenced with the introductory remarks from Hon’ble Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji to the present participants.
Besides the updates on CFM, the meeting covered the key issues at CFM. It was pointed out that the number of stalls present were not enough especially during summer season. To which the committee decided that they will look into the possibility of increasing the number of stalls by studying the infrastructural possibilities and underutilized areas in order to render support and platform to the local farmers.
On the next agenda, the CFM staff proposed to take over the parking fee collection activity with effect from October 2014 which was previously outsourced. After a thorough study, it is found that the CFM management will gain more income by employing their staff for fee collection, making effective use of its staff while also contributing to the sustenance of the CFM.
Discussing further, the CFM staff informed of receiving a letter from Thimphu Thromde intimating to draw a Land Lease Agreement for the CFM. According to the letter, the CFM covered an area of about Nu. 96,762 square feet, this amounts to Nu.19, 35, 240 per year. Due to such huge annual amount, the staff expressed their concern on the CFM sustainability. They pointed out that what they are doing is not business but service to the general people They informed that the nominal fee collected is used for staff payment, maintenance and management of the CFM. Thus, the CFM staff laid down the proposal, not to pay the lease fees for CFM considering that they will not be able to pay the fees from the income generated by the CFM.
Further, the Director General of the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regularity Authority proposed the construction of drainage at back of the CFM which caused nuisance by blockage, foul smell and threats of disease thriving. With construction of the proper drainage system, the CFM aims to create a better and hygienic place for rendering better services to the public and the farmers in particular.
-Reported by Tashi Yangzom and Photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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