The local organic assurance system (LOAS) certified products including Turmeric powder from Zhemgang, Bhutan Herbal Tea from Bumthang, Bhutan Green Tea from Trongsa and potato, garlic and carrot from Gasa launched on June 26 is expected to hit the market soon.
The launched products were from Rangzhin Sonam Detshen in Gasa, Samdrupcholing Zangja Nymaley Tshogdey in Trongsa, Takabi Women’s Group and Dakpel Women’s Group in Zhemgang and Bhutan Herbal Tea in Bumthang who have registered with the National Organic Program (NOP) since 2016. They were trained on organic concepts, principles and practices and have committed to ensure the Bhutan Organic Standard (BOS).
LOAS managed by NOP is based on trust which aims to ease the marketing of organic operators and help consumers to identity the organic products.
According to a spokesperson, with the overwhelming amount farm products in the market, one of the biggest challenges the consumers face at the moment is identifying whether they are organic or not. Thus, the LOAS plays a significant role as the certified products will bear Bhutan organic logo signifying that they are grown locally following the BOS under the supervision of the agriculture extension officers. The system is one of the many initiatives taken towards the long-term vision of going 100% organic. It ensures that farmers need not have to bear the cost for certification.
At the launching, the Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo, Yeshey Dorji shared the importance of going organic. He shared that the Ministry is planning to explore the market within respected Dzongkhags for farmers’ convenience. Lyonpo also awarded the certificates to the farmers group.
Rinzin Wangchuk from Bhutan Herbal Tea said that with the certification, he hopes to have better opportunities. The group produces around 1500 kgs of three different types tea annually from 10 acres of land which is not enough to meet the local demand at the moment.
Tshering Wangmo from Takabi Women’s Group shared that the organic products are not easily sold out as many people are not aware of its health benefits. Her group brought around 100 bottles of turmeric powder of which only 11 were sold on the launching day. “The remaining will be sold going around in the market,” she said. She is hopeful that the LOAS will be a boon for them.
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