Staff Reporter 

The Centenary Farmer’s Market is receiving a major upgrade, to turn it into a vibrant community space as befitting its importance historically and as an important feature of the capital.

A space where vegetable vendors sold produce every weekend from the 90’s, the Thimphu farmer’s market was rebuilt to the present two-storey structure in 2008 to accommodate more vendors to serve a growing population and renamed the Centenary Farmers’ Market. The market is of historic and cultural importance, allowing farmers and vendors to display local goods and products in the largest market in Bhutan.

The refurbished space will include an improved display of produce, spaces for showcasing artisanal products, food stalls, rest areas, and other amenities.

The upgrade of the market is part of a multi-pronged plan for the redesign of the entire capital. Work on this has begun in phases with the Thimphu Greening Initiative, which is working to develop green spaces in identified areas in Thimphu. Initiated upon Royal Command, the Ministry of Works and Human Settlements, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Thimphu Thromde, and DeSuung are working on the initiative with support from His Majesty’s Secretariat.

According to sources, the redesigned CFM will have additional amenities besides vegetables and produce shops, such as food stations, rest areas, greenery and flowers, and recreation and entertainment facilities. Arrangements are being made to improve the display of produce for better cleanliness, hygiene, and price and information display. There will also be space for artisans to showcase their products so that the CFM can truly become a market for the best of local products.

While work is ongoing in the main structure of the CFM, space has been created for the CFM vendors to continue selling their produce. Albeit temporary, the new space located across the parking lot next to the CFM building gives visitors an idea of what the new refurbished CFM would be like.

Vendors mainly from the first floor of the CFM have been given spaces here, with the skills and resources to display their goods more aesthetically and help maintain cleanliness. The space includes rest areas, outdoor taps and washing areas, and mini-gardens. DeSuung, which has supported a bulk of the work here with the help of de-suups, also maintains booths for specially sourced produce and food.