Trashiyangtse chilies hit the mar­ket

Since im­ported chilies were banned in 2016, the de­mand for Yangtse chilies has shot up dras­ti­cally

Business Bhutan - - Money - Jigme Wangchen from T/yangtse

Trashiyangtse’s fa­mous chilies have hit the mar­ket with a kilo­gram cost­ing Nu 120 to 130 in the Dzongkhag and Nu 150 to Nu 250 in other places in­clud­ing nearby Trashigang.

A 38-year-old ven­dor loads three sacks of Yangtse chilies along with a bas­ket of cu­cum­bers into his bolero. He plans to take the chilies to Kan­glung among oth­ers as shop­keep­ers from th­ese places have asked him to bring the chilies for sale.

“It is a lu­cra­tive busi­ness and the mar­ket is de­cent although the num­ber of ven­dors is increasing. Sell­ing the chilies is not a prob­lem at all.”

He said that the ban of In­dian chilies has been good for his busi­ness. “We also sup­ply chilies to Trashigang and other Dzongkhags.”

“Many peo­ple in Yangtse sell chilies for a liv­ing,” he added.

An­other farmer from Ram­jar gewog in Trashiyangtse said that peo­ple from other Dzongkhags ar­rive at their doorsteps to buy chilies.

He said that be­fore the ban of In­dian chilies, only a hand­ful of cus­tomers would buy chilies from Yangtse but now their cus­tomer base has in­creased dras­ti­cally. “The ban on the im­port of chilies has mo­ti­vated us to work harder and cul­ti­vate chilies on a large scale as the do­mes­tic de­mand is high.”

Ear­lier, farm­ers could sell only around 50kg of chilies. But now, they can sell more than 150kg.

Mean­while, he said that he has made a profit of more than Nu 20,000 as of now.

Sonam Dorji, 36, from Sam­drup Jongkhar who buys six kg of chilies from Dok­sum veg­etable mar­ket said that Yangtse is known for its chilies, “Yangtse chilies are per­fect for ema datse. They are not very spicy and my fam­ily de­mands chilies from Yangtse.”

Fur­ther, he said that he came to Dok­sum to buy chilies as the price is lower com­pared to Trashigang.

An­other cus­tomer, Chador said be­fore the ban only those who had a de­cent in­come could af­ford the chilies from Yangtse. But to­day, al­most every­body buys Yangtse chilies as it is the only avail­able chili.

A ven­dor from Dok­sum said it does not take her even half a day to fin­ish sell­ing around 10kg of chilies.

De­cid­edly, the ban on im­ported chilies has en­cour­aged lo­cal farm­ers to pro­duce and sell more chilies.

The Bhutan Agri­cul­ture and Food Reg­u­lar­ity Author­ity (BAFRA) banned the im­port of chilies from In­dia in June 2016.

The ban was im­posed since im­ported chilies showed high pes­ti­cide con­tent.

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