Dechen Dolkar

If Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) is elected, potato growers in Phobjikha and Gangtey will be provided cold storage facilities.

BTP President, Pema Chewang said this during the meeting with voters in Nyisho-Saephu constituency, Wangdue, yesterday.

The president met with the people of Phobjikha, Gangtey and Saephu assuring voters that the party recognises the challenges of voters in selling their potatoes.

Potato is the primary source of income for people of Phobjikha and Gangtey gewogs.

The president said that the party will establish cold storage facilities for farmers so that they don’t have to travel to Phuentsholing to auction potatoes.

During this auction this year, hundreds of kilograms of potatoes from Phobjikha and Gangtey were spoilt because farmers had to wait more than two weeks for auction at the yard in Phuentsholing.

Pema Chewang said that farmers need not travel to Phuentsholing for the auction of potatoes. “You can store their potatoes in cold stores and sell them during winter.”

He said that BTP will also explore opportunities for value-adding to potato products such as chips and packaging.

Voters of Phobjikha said that if the government could open an auction yard in their gewog, it would save them a lot of trouble and resources.

Currently, each truckload of potato costs around Nu 30,000 to Nu 40,000 to reach Phuentsholing. Each household sells around one to four truckloads annually.

Phobjikha gewog has around 700 households.

Pema Chewang also said that farm roads will be blacktopped. “In Phobjikha, the farm roads from the gewog centre which is not blacktopped will be blacktopped.”

The party pledged to improve, upgrade and blacktop chiwog and gewog roads, and hand them over to the Department of Roads, make farm and access roads pliable and construct new ones, wherever necessary from the party’s investment outlay of Nu 50 billion.

Karma Dorji, 54, from Lingbi under Kazhi Gewog is the BTP candidate for Nyishog-sephu constituency. He is contesting against People’s Democratic Party’s candidate Kuenga from Gyelekha village.