Monday, 28 July 2008

Bhutan : Passion fruit from Trongsa hits Thimphu market

July 28: The Agriculture Marketing Unit is helping farmers from remote villages of Jangbe, Phom Zur and Wamling under Langthel geog in Trongsa market passion fruit. The Agriculture Marketing Unit provided free transportation all the way from their village to the weekend vegetable market in Thimphu.

Jangbe, Phom Zur and Wamling villages are remote villages under Langthel geog in Trongsa. Villagers from these villages have to walk at least a day to get to the nearest road point. And of late, farmers from these villages have marketed around five hundred kilograms of passion fruit to Thimphu with assistance from the Agriculture Marketing Unit. The fruit were transported free of charge.

According to the District Agriculture Officer Ngawang Chogyal, the fruit grows well in the villages but farmers could not take it to the market in the past. He said the main purpose of helping the farmers to market the fruit is to increase the income of the farmers.

Ngawang Chogyal said through this programme they will also look at possibilities of marketing the fruits at the weekend vegetable market in Thimphu.

According to the Gewog Agriculture Extension officer Lugdra Wangdi, around 2,000 saplings of passion fruit were supplied to the farmers in 2005 and 2006. He said although the produce was high, the farmers faced difficulties in marketing.

Lugdra Wangdi said if there is good market for the fruit, they will supply more saplings to the farmers.

Meanwhile the farmers said that the initiative to provide free transportation from the Agriculture Ministry has helped them. They said in the past, they would have to carry all the way on horseback and the income would be hardly enough for the transportation charges.

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