Skip to main content

Thriving Middlemen

Just like any other Bhutanese, I too feel helpless at this time of national crisis. Bhutan is battling with the forces of nature. And in the last few days, it is been hectic. I join the Bhutanese people in thanking our His Majesty for personally leading and monitoring the rescue work and demonstrating exemplary leadership. 

We are also thankful and appreciative of Prime Minister's role in all these. 

We were told that the trucks carrying fuel are on their way to the capital today. It is a great relief and highly reassuring to all Bhutanese to know this. I pray and hope that this is the end of our ordeals. Thimphu finally saw some sunshine today (Thursday, July 28) . 

This year's Monsoon brings us more than natural disasters. It was a window through which we saw many dark possibilities and drive home some lessons. We have seen our people line up to refuel their cars in the middle of the night, blocking traffic. We have also heard of taxi drivers charging exorbitant fares to the hapless Bhutanese students on their way to India. 

But more interestingly, on July 21 Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority announced a temporary ban on the import of chilies from India. While I agree that we have to take up this as an opportunity to grow and grow more on our own, it is depressing to note that some people are taking the advantage of the ban on chilies to unreasonably hike the prices of local produce. We were told that in some places it has risen from Nu. 40 a kilo to 150. That's pure robbery. We should stop this. Recently, Royal Bhutan Police penalized some taxi drivers, who charged their passengers illogically high fares. Likewise, the concerned authorities should monitor food prices. Imagine what happened if fuel price is not monitored?   

I think that farmers in the villages, who worked hard on their farms, would never know about the ban on the import of chilies. And for the same reasons they would not charge extra. But it is the middlemen involved who take the stock of the market situation to make big money. In all these, it is the middlemen, who benefit and not the actual farmers. 

Therefore, there is an urgent need to protect our farmers from these so-called middlemen, who thrive on the hard work of our humble farmers. 

Comments

  1. Beautiful thoughts and clean write-up sir...nice read

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for going through it and dropping a comment, Sancha Rai!

      Delete
  2. So true Meddle men are robbery. They rob from both farmers and us.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "We thrive on the hard work of our humble farmers". Loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. How can we kill the 'Middleman' culture? They are ruling the market and perhaps they are responsible for many rumors about this shortage and that shortage. They are smart people but in a very wrong way.

    Chilli price as of today is Nu.500 per kg.

    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…