Skip to main content

Our Growing Opportunity

Last week, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest had ordered the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) to 'temporarily' suspend the import of beans and cauliflowers. Laboratory tests had confirmed that these vegetables contain pesticide beyond permitted 'limit'. 

This is heartening for many Bhutanese farmers. This is truly our opportunity to grow and feed Bhutanese with vegetables grown and nurtured on Bhutanese soil. It is an opportunity to go bigger into farming and turn farming into a financially lucrative venture for our rural farmers, who still continue to grow crops for self-consumption. 

Otherwise, it is difficult for our farmers to compete with literally cheap vegetables that are imported from across the border, where they are grown in much much bigger quantity. Our farmers do not stand a chance at all to compete in the market. Thus, they end up growing only what's enough for their own families - the rest go waste, most of the time. Same thing with dairy and poultry products. Bhutanese farmers should be able to cater enough dairy products to  Bhutanese consumers. Some day soon, we should stop importing cheaper products. I am unsure how healthy these products are, but today, Bhutanese in the urban centers continue to consume imported dairy products. 

We are already self-sufficient in eggs. And we should now explore markets beyond Bhutan for our poultry products. Same thing with our dairy products. 

This is the right time that we seriously think about growing more vegetables enough for all consumers. That way we can stop importing vegetables. I think that is possible. 

Of course, again, sometimes we tend to go wild. Our authorities need to control the prices of these products and make them affordable to everyone. 

Strike the iron while it is hot, they say; we must make use of this import suspension order as a basis to stop importing vegetables from across the border and strive for self-sufficiency in vegetables and other food items - one product at a time. 

Note: Pictures from Kuensel: May 20, 2016

Comments

  1. The little that we produce at home are sold at a relatively higher prices than those imported ones in the name of "local" production. When such advantages are still at the cornea of our business people, that's when our people prefer eating those pesticide infested vegetables that are comparatively cheaper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true. Sometimes greed overtakes and we are least bothered of common good. That's why authorities need to control the prices of commodities going over the rooftop. Of course, that will be easier said than done. Ultimately, Bhutanese need to grow more and that will take care of prices - as supply increases!

      Delete
  2. Nice one Ngawang! indeed our growing opportunity... we should not let it die there. We have potential to grow everything that comes from India, in fact our lands are more fertile and organic but we lack in creating market place for those who see this business as an opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your country had got good climate and cool highlands to grow the best greens. Hopefully the country could reduce the imports and eat local produce.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This happened at a time when we had vegetables locally available. I am just wondering what would have happened to us, if that was reported in a dry winter season. Yes, I think we need to work towards self sufficiency but with a wise decision.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If we also put our locally produced vegetables through laboratory tests, I am quite sure that they'll not be 100% pesticides free. However, comparatively local produces may be more safer for consumption.

    But then, how long we can go on consuming safer local produces which usually come at higher prices when even buying those low-priced pesticides infected vegetables takes more than 10% of our monthly earnings?

    Instead I think some agencies need to do extensive advocating activities on unhealthiness of consuming those vegetables just like how Indian government recently did to reduce import of rice from China. This may provide some rooms in market for our local sellers. Again how many will be ready to fill that room?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But I was also thinking how can our vegetables that are grown using organic manure test positive pesticides. If they do, it is not organic. We need to stop them from selling their produce in the market. And coming to the price, we need more people to produce more vegetables - otherwise authority imposing price on the farmers' produce is not good. Of course people who sell vegetables at the market do not grow what they sell in the market - that's the paradox here. These people are the middlemen - making money out of others' hard work. But that's how things work everywhere.

      Delete
  6. We're looking for kidney donors for the sum of $450,000,00 Call or Whatsapp Dr. Donya Hockett for more details:
    Mobile: 917418483326
    WhatsApp 917418483326

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

So what do you think?

Popular posts from this blog

Bloggers are not journalists

To say bloggers are not journalists is to say oranges are not carrots. Bloggers are not journalists. That’s true. But can bloggers become journalists? Maybe. Can journalists be bloggers? Yes. In fact, it would be only proper and appropriate for journalists to blog their opinions as opposed to being 'politically' correct all the time. So why call oranges carrots when they are what they are?
Well, it is true – bloggers have no training in journalism. That’s why they are bloggers. And for the same reason they are  not journalists. No bloggers have ever claimed what they blog can qualify as ‘journalism’.  We all do what we love the most and give our best in whatever we are doing either reporting news or blogging. 

Journalists do it as careers. Bloggers do it (mostly) for hobby and out of passion. Most journalists also do it with great passion - that's true. The journalists get paid for doing their jobs while bloggers derive pleasure doing it. Journalists cover (report) stories eve…

The Story Thief

When we were growing up in a small village in the central Bhutan, we would gather around our grandparents every evening in a room that would be dimly lit with a kerosene lamp. Our grandparents or the elderly members of the family would then take turns to entertain us (siblings and cousins who lived under the same roof) with their stories. Such was the only form of entertainment we had had then.  
Our grandparents would start their stories, which they probably would have heard them from their grandparents. A young poor boy becomes a successful farmer by a turn of luck, a man fights a bear, a poor boy accidentally marries a rich man's beautiful daughter, a lame monkey helps a boy find great wealth, a rooster regrets his action after he mistakenly accuses his wife and young men go on business trips to buy cattle, among many others. We grew up listening to many such stories. Sometimes, the storyteller would narrate the same story again and again, and yet every time it sounded more magi…

A 'holiday' for meat vendors

This Bhutanese month (May 16 - June 13) is observed as Saga-Dawa, a holy month in the country. It is popularly or infamousely known as the time when the sale of meat items is banned in Bhutan. And it's also an opportunity for us to put a light brake on our mighty meaty appetites. Consequently, restaurants are encouraged to serve their customers rich vegetarian meals during the period. Similar ban is also observed every first month of the Bhutanese calendar.
But going by what's happening, the saga-dawa is a month long mandatory and government sanctioned holiday for the butchers and meat vendors. Being holy month does not really make a difference to the menus in the restaurants from rest of the  months in the year. 
Meat is available in all the restaurants and even small eateries ensure that their customers are served their favorite dishes. They're only being wise and practical because if they don't serve meat their customers would move to the restaurant next-door that ser…