Farmer taps lucrative business of selling vegetable seeds
After attending several trainings on seed production and packaging, a 50-yearold famer from Maenbi gewog in Lhuentse has finally found a lucrative business in producing and selling vegetable seeds commercially.
Tshagayla, who has ventured into large-scale seed production today, said farmers in his village do not have to depend solely on the gewog agriculture extension office for vegetable seeds.
“Unlike in the past, my vegetable seeds are now well packed,” he said. “Earlier, I used to sell my seeds without packing and now it has been almost two years that I started selling seeds well packed.”
Tshagayla explains that producing seeds for commercial purpose is a lucrative business.
“If we can work more, we have around 70 percent profit from the seeds,” he said, adding it was not a problem to sell his local seeds as everyone depended on agriculture.
“Since I am the only one who produces seeds for commercial purpose in this gewog, I can easily sell my products,” Tshagayla said, adding that he is now targeting the gewog agriculture extension office and the Dzongkhag agriculture sector to sell his local seeds.
“But sometimes it is difficult as they don’t have the budget to buy seeds,” he added.
Tshagayla, meanwhile, is expecting to produce more than 3,000 packets of various seeds this year and earn more than Nu 50,000.
To help Tshagayla, the gewog’s agriculture extension supervisor, Phub Dem, also helps in marketing Tshagayla’s seeds.
Phub Dem said she had discussions with the school agriculture program coordinators of central schools to sell Tshagayla’s seeds. “The coordinators are positive about the idea and I am also going to ask the authorized seed distributers to buy his seeds,” she said.
She added that Tshagayla’s initiative has benefited both the farmers and the gewog agriculture extension office. “He helps me in training the farmers and we do not have to buy additional seeds from the National Seed Centre,” she added.
Tshagayla has also trained around 40 farmers in the gewog on seed production.
“We have three vegetable groups in the gewog and last year I have trained them on seed production,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Agriculture Research and Development Centre (ARDC) in Wengkhar also help farmers in establishing and up scaling such projects. Like Tshagayla, there are around 27 vegetable seeds and fruit nursery growers in eastern Bhutan.