Potato sale through e-auc­tion gain­ing mo­men­tum

More than 1,443MT of pota­toes were sold through on­line auc­tion­ing this year

Business Bhutan - - Nation - Kr­ishna Ghal­ley from Phuentshol­ing

The sale of pota­toes through on­line auc­tion is grad­u­ally gain­ing mo­men­tum in Phuentshol­ing with in­creased quan­tity sold this year.

Food Cor­po­ra­tion of Bhutan Limited (FCBL) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Royal Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change of Bhutan Limited (RSEBL) has sold more than 1,443mt of pota­toes through on­line auc­tion­ing this year, amount­ing to Nu 37.6mn in three months.

Last year, 144.7mt of pota­toes were sold through e-auc­tion amount­ing to Nu 17.3mn. On­line auc­tion starts from Sep­tem­ber till De­cem­ber. How­ever, this year, the sup­ply has ended by mid-Novem­ber.

Though un­able to reach the tar­geted quan­tity, on­line auc­tion­ing has started gain­ing mo­men­tum, ac­cord­ing to the On­line Auc­tion Man­ager, Purna Ta­mang. FCBL has tar­geted to auc­tion more than 6,000mt of pota­toes this year. How­ever, with con­ven­tional auc­tion­ing hap­pen­ing most are sold there.

“Grad­u­ally, peo­ple are com­ing to know, but it takes time for them to get con­vinced of the sys­tem,” Purna Ta­mang said.

Mean­while, Novem­ber this year has seen the least quan­tity of pota­toes at the auc­tion yard due to fa­vor­able price in the ear­lier months of Sep­tem­ber and Oc­to­ber. Farm­ers have al­most com­pleted sell­ing their pota­toes dur­ing these two months.

“If there were sup­plies from the farm­ers this month, the fig­ure would rise,” Purna Ta­mang said. Still, in two months the sale through e-auc­tion has dou­bled than that of last year.

In Sep­tem­ber last year, 133mt of pota­toes were auc­tioned, while 505mt were sold this year. Sim­i­larly, 353mt were auc­tioned in Oc­to­ber last year, while 938mt were auc­tioned this year in the same month. Only 149mt were sold this month. Last year, 536 were sold.

Gen­er­ally, potato auc­tion sea­son lasts till De­cem­ber. But this year, the sup­ply of pota­toes has ended by Oc­to­ber end and only a few farm­ers have brought their har­vest this month.

Mean­while, FCBL grades two types of pota­toes - red and white into four dif­fer­ent sizes and pack for the auc­tion. The price too has also in­creased this year. It has reached up to Nu 57 per kilo­gram in e-auc­tion.

While the price is al­most the same, the sale through on­line auc­tion has been ad­van­ta­geous to the farm­ers as they re­ceive uni­form rate un­like the con­ven­tional auc­tion­ing.

“While farm­ers sell a truck­load of pota­toes at dif­fer­ent rates at dif­fer­ent in­ter­vals, they can sell at one go and get uni­form rate while sell­ing through on­line auc­tion. If cal­cu­lated, they fetched about Nu 30,000 more on the same quan­tity,” Purna Ta­mang said.

Mean­while, a farmer from Kho­takha in Wang­duepho­drang has earned Nu 2mn from five truck­loads of pota­toes, of which four trucks were sold on­line. He earned Nu 1.5mn.

Mindu Gyelt­shen said the rates at the on­line auc­tion yard are bet­ter. His pota­toes fetched up to Nu 49 per kilo­gram when con­ven­tional auc­tion fetched Nu 38.

“It’s easy and fast too. I have in­formed my friends here to sell through on­line auc­tion from next year,” he said.

Mean­while, there are 13 reg­is­tered lo­cal bid­ders for on­line auc­tion till now.

“The de­mand for pota­toes at the yard is also in­creas­ing,” Purna Ta­mang said, adding that sys­tem­atic and well-graded and pack­aged prod­uct have more de­mands.

Mean­while, FCBL and RSEBL have also ini­ti­ated stan­dard pack­ing sack. They have also added two grad­ing ma­chines this year. They are also plan­ning to in­stall such ma­chines in the vil­lages where they can di­rectly grade and pack the pota­toes be­fore bring­ing them to the Phuentshol­ing auc­tion yard.

FCBL and RSEBL have started the sale of pota­toes through on­line auc­tion from last year in Phuentshol­ing af­ter in­stalling a potato grad­ing ma­chine.

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