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

Alive and kicking

This feels like ages since I last posted anything here. That shows how inactive I have become on my blog. It is such a pain to let it go empty, day after day. And I am sure that all bloggers share the same sentiments.

I have attempted to blog about something for a long time now, only to find myself failing to do so. Maybe that is my laziness. But sometimes, there is nothing new or interesting to blog about. Topics are crucial. As far as my idea of blogging goes, a post cannot be a mere record of personal events - everyday affairs - although there can be blogs about such topics and interests. For example, the one I am writing now - has nothing about anything in particular,  besides citing some personal excuses.

Bhutan is going through yet another interesting era in that we have just had our third parliamentary elections and the new government is in place. I take this opportunity to welcome the new government and a new set of cabinet members, the speaker of the National Assembly and th…

When they are ready

The Ministry of Education discovered 890 'underage' children admitted in schools across the country in 2019. Thus, the ministry in May 2019 issued a notification revoking the admission for these children. Majority were in urban centres. 
Desperate, parents and the affected schools requested the government to intervene. They also requested the government to consider lowering the enrolment age to five years. Currently, in Bhutan a child can legally go to school only when s(he) is six years old. 
And that policy was strictly followed a few years ago to the extent that some schools refused to admit children even if they were short of a few weeks. So, parents, mostly in urban areas, resorted to faking their children's ages. Many parents were guilty of adding years onto their children's actual ages. However, most parents, we are told, managed to correct their 'mistakes' later. Faking a child's age was rampant both in government and private schools. But the story wa…

Our throw-it-away culture

Like all grandparents, my late grandma would call food 'tsampa rimpoche' and any fuss made about it would invite everyone's sneer and scoldings. Food is always treated with respect and is never wasted. "If you waste food in any manner," she would admonish us. "One day food will discard you and you will go hungry." 
What remained from the previous meal would be turned either into porridge or sometimes leftover rice would be dried in the sun. The dried rice would then be fried into puffed rice and consumed with cups of suja. When there was so much food left, especially during big events, leftover rice or kharang would be mixed with a small amount of yeast and brewed into ara.  
The only thing that I can vividly recollect from my primary school days is how we would be hungry most of the time. Food we were served was hardly enough to tickle our throats. We would be sent home only once a week on Saturdays and that was our opportunity to replenish our popcorn s…