Friday, 17 October 2008

Bhutan : Centenary Farmers Market inaugurated

October 17: The new vegetable market or the Centenary Farmers Market was inaugurated by Her Royal Highness Ashi Dechen Yangzom Wangchuck yesterday.

Cabinet Ministers, Senior Government officials, local leaders and members from the international agencies also attended the ceremony.

The new market will however be functional only after two weeks.

The Centenary Farmers Market is dedicated to a centenary of peace and prosperity for farmers under the Wangchuck Dynasty.

After the inauguration of the Market, Her Royal Highness Ashi Dechen Yangzom Wangchuck and the guests visited some of the facilities.

Built on an area of more than 82,000 square feet, the two storied vegetable market will accommodate about 460 vegetable vendors.

There are separate stalls for fruits, beetle nuts, dry fish, diary products and vegetables.

The market also has wholesale stores, meat stalls, coffee and tea shops and washrooms. It also has shops for agriculture tools and seeds.

The new market boasts of three ramps that will enable customers to use trolleys while buying vegetables from the upper floor. A glass house for Druk Seed Corporation built right in the centre of the upper floor will house flowers and plants for sale.

The Agriculture Minister Lyonpo Dr. Pema Gyamtsho said the new vegetable market has been constructed for the convenience of both the vendors and buyers.

The Works and Human Settlement Minister Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba said the name “Centenary Farmers Market” given to the new vegetable market is suitable since Bhutan has enjoyed unprecedented peace and prosperity under the successive monarchs.

A committee comprising of members from the Agriculture and Works and Human Settlement and Thimphu City Corporation have been formed to look after the new market.

The committee will be responsible for the maintenance and everyday functioning of the market. Vendors will be charged a nominal fee for regular maintenance and improvement of facilities.

Under a comprehensive waste management plan, the City Corporation will transport all organic waste to the compost plant in Serbithang and non biodegradable waste to Memelakha.

With more than 2,000 applications for stall space and only 458 stalls available, the committee is yet to allocate the stalls.

The vendors on the other hand are expecting individual stalls. The vendors said they are eager to occupy the new space.

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