Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) officials seized about 2,925 kilograms of banned vegetables in Thimphu in the morning of December 23.

The officials seized 1,400kg of banned green chilies, 875kg of cauliflowers and 650kg of beans at the Centenary Farmers’ Market after receiving the information through the toll free number on December 22.

Green chilies were banned in the country since July last year due to existence of harmful pesticide in the vegetable. In May last year, cauliflowers and beans were banned due to high pesticide residues in the vegetables.

Following tip-off on December 22, the officials followed the vehicle carrying the vegetables from Chuzom and were directed to Centenary Farmers’ Market for inspection.

BAFRA’s officer in-charge, Kaling Dorji, said that the seized vegetables were imported from Falakata through Phuntsholing.

He added that the vegetables belonged to about 23 Bhutanese vendors. “The vendors will be fined 10 times the market rate of the vegetables.”

The seized vegetables were dumped at Memelakha dumping site on the same day. Meanwhile, BAFRA is assessing the value of the seized products.

Phurpa Lhamo