With both price and harvest improved, potato farmers from across the country who bring to auction the produce at Phuentsholing auction yard are happy this year.

Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCBL) auctioned double of what was auctioned last year. It auctioned 23,996 metric tonnes (MT) of potatoes worth Nu 499.15 million (M).

In 2017, the Phuentsholing auction yard traded 13,729MT for the same period. It did a business of Nu 202.26M. In 2016, FCBL recorded auction of 15,034MT potatoes worth Nu 370M

At the auction yard yesterday, Damcho Zam from Wangduephodrang was waiting to get the auction coupon. She had brought a truckload of potatoes.

“Both price and harvest are good this year,” she said.

Damcho Zam said she has about 200 kilogrammes of potatoes left at home. “I would bring it later this year.”

Meanwhile, potatoes are fetching about Nu 25 to Nu 35 a kg. The highest average price, FCBL auction yard recorded this season is Nu 47.

FCBL’s complex manager, Ugyen Penjor, said potato auction went smoothly this year. “FCBL had added infrastructure to help farmers.”

The manager said the existing FCBL auction yard was expanded and a new parking lot for trucks was also developed, which eased the congestion at the yard.

Potato growers and truckers had faced a major challenge last year when the loads kept increasing and there was no space to keep the produce.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing