Ex­plor­ing mar­ket for lo­cal agro prod­ucts in third coun­tries

Business Bhutan - - Money - Kr­ishna Ghal­ley

A busi­ness en­tity based in Phuentshol­ing, Bhutan Busi­ness Ex­port Line (BBEL), is ex­plor­ing to en­hance ex­ports of Bhutanese agri­cul­tural prod­ucts to the third coun­tries.

The com­pany, formed by Shiva Lal Subedi along with three other busi­ness­men, has al­ready ex­ported dried agri­cul­tural prod­ucts to the third coun­tries, such as Dubai, Kuwait, the United States and Nether­lands.

Speak­ing to Busi­ness Bhutan, the Chair­man of BBEL, Shiva Lal Subedi said Bhutanese agro prod­ucts are in huge de­mand in coun­tries in the Mid­dle East as work­ing on agri­cul­ture is dif­fi­cult.

He added that the group af­ter re­ceiv­ing all the agri­cul­tural prod­ucts would ex­port them to those coun­tries where they would fetch bet­ter prices com­par­a­tively than sim­ply by ex­port­ing to Asian coun­tries.

A group of four with other sup­port­ing staffs has also been put in place in four re­gions of the coun­try to re­ceive agri­cul­tural prod­ucts from across the coun­try.

While one mem­ber is sta­tioned at Samtse, the oth­ers are at Gele­phu. Mean­while, an­other part­ner is sta­tioned at Bangladesh with an estab­lished of­fice.

Shiva Lal Subedi said, “Pro­mot­ing ex­port to third coun­tries would fetch bet­ter prices for the farm­ers and we are work­ing on that.”

The group un­like other mini traders from In­dia does not bar­gain on the prices with the farm­ers. The group pays com­par­a­tively lower than those traders but as­sures ac­cu­racy on the weight.

“The other traders lure the in­no­cent farm­ers with bet­ter prices but they be­tray from the weight scale,” he said, adding that if ex­port to these rich coun­tries are as­sured, farm­ers can di­rectly deal with the group through their re­gional agents.

The group has so far ex­ported car­damom, ginger and dried veg­eta­bles which it says was a suc­cess.

“Still we have de­mands that need to be ful­filled,” Shiva Lal Subedi said, adding that trav­el­ling to these coun­tries for mar­ket­ing has made him re­al­ize that Bhutanese prod­ucts are val­ued high.

“If we work hard our farm­ers can earn more than what we are earn­ing. We want to cre­ate a bridge for the Bhutanese farm­ers,” he added. “Still, Bhutanese farm­ers deal with In­dian traders to ex­port their agro prod­ucts.”

BBEl, mean­while, also has plans to cre­ate a brand, start­ing from the pack­ag­ing to pro­mote or­ganic agro prod­ucts. The group also plans to in­stall a ma­chine to judge the qual­ity of the prod­uct to avert farm­ers from cheat­ing. The pay­ments then will be made ac­cord­ingly.

“Do­ing so we can en­cour­age good busi­ness prac­tices to the farm­ers and sell best qual­ity prod­ucts,” Shiva Lal Subedi said.

And while the group main­tains that it’s strug­gling with­out ad­e­quate earn­ings, they want to pro­mote or­ganic agro prod­ucts across the world.

“The profit is sec­ondary. If ex­port to these coun­tries goes well, the coun­try can earn the much-needed for­eign cur­ren­cies,” Shiva Lal Subedi said.

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