Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Close to 13,000 metric tonnes of cardamom are waiting at the Samdrupjongkhar Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCBL) depot for prices in India and Bangladesh to gain.

The office started collecting cardamoms last week.

The complex manager, Sawdev Koirala, said they collected about 12,802MT of cardamom from the six eastern dzongkhags worth more than Nu 51.7 million (M). Mongar contributed the most.

FCBL offers between Nu 380 to Nu 430 per kilogram (kg) as per the quality.

“The office won’t be able to provide even Nu 380 per kg because the quality is poor,” the complex manager said, adding that the price was fixed based on the previous market price.

Sawdev Koirala said that the FCBL could not export because of the lack of markets in India and Bangladesh compared to the previous years.

“The price in India is about Nu 280 to Nu 415 based on the quality while Bangladesh didn’t start buying cardamoms from Bhutan yet,” the complex manager said.

The complex manager said the office’s main challenge is segregating cardamoms by their size before the export otherwise the products get spoiled.

The Indian trucks are not allowed to enter Samdrupjongkhar after 3pm which also affects the export. “It would help if the concerned authorities could extend the entry timing until 5pm,” he said.

He said that farmers made the produce wet and mixed it with sand to weigh more despite the outlet offering a reasonable price.

“They only look for one time opportunity and don’t think of the future of their business,” Sawdev Koirala said.