The Centenary Farmers’ Market (CFM) in Thimphu has a new player in the vegetable business and other farm produce. The Youth Business Cooperative (YBC) registered under the Cooperative Act of Bhutan has started vegetable marketing as their core business in Thimphu.
Many small farmers selling vegetables with very small volume is seen as a problem as taking it to town for sale is expensive for them. But if all goes well, farmers will not have to wait and sell nor get disappointed for not being able to sell their products.
YBC is planning an organised marketing system for the vegetable growers in the country by linking markets through YBC stores and collection centres. With YBC engaging in vegetable marketing programme for nine items from this week, vegetables marketing should not be much of a problem.
YBC is also supporting marketing of Tsirangs dalley pickle, bamboo shoot pickle, honey, buckwheat and millet flour, besides helping to promote Druk Samchholing (Trongsa) Green Tea.
With the objectives to create employment and reduce import of vegetables, YBC has given the highest priority to link with farmers in the villages as their main supplier. However to bring down the cost of vegetables which are not available in the country, YBC has plans to make bulk purchase through the Food Corporation of Bhutan and sell with minimum profit margin to make vegetable affordable.
Meanwhile, YBC is looking forward for customers to purchase the vegetables from their stalls at affordable prices.
As of this week, the vegetables available at the YBC stall in CFM are chilies, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, potato and carrot.
As a new Cooperative, YBC needs support from different stakeholders. It is expected that government and financial sector would believe in this Youth Cooperative and use them as a change Agent.
‘We will make vegetable affordable in Thimphu without compromising the quality and supply’ says Mr. Rinzin Norbu, the Project Manager for YBC. ‘The only reason why people are losing interest in growing vegetables is because of lack of market. If YBC takes up the marketing, it could revive vegetable cultivation’, he added.
YBC is selling vegetables at very reasonable prices compared to other vegetable vendors so that people can easily afford to buy. The following are the vegetable prices at YBC stall:
|Sl. No.||Vegetables available at YBC||Price at YBC||Market price|
|1||Potato||Nu. 35/kg||Nu. 40/kg|
|2||Tomato||Nu. 60/kg||Nu. 70/kg|
|3||Onion||Nu. 45/kg||Nu. 50/kg|
|4||Carrot||Nu. 75/kg||Nu. 80-100/kg|
|5||Cabbage||Nu. 35/kg||Nu. 40/kg|
|6||Chill||Nu. 55/kg||Nu. 60/kg|
|7||Radish||Nu. 25/kg||Nu. 30/kg|
|8||Beans||Nu. 50/kg||Nu. 55/kg|
|9||Brinjal||Nu. 35/kg||Nu. 40/kg|
Submitted by Ugyen Choden, Media Focal for YBC, Thimphu
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