Thinley Namgay   

The Department of Cottage and Small Industry (DCSI) inaugurated the first cottage and small industry (CSI) market yesterday at Changzamtog, Thimphu.

CSI market will sell more than 20 local products.

The CSI market is a platform for entrepreneurs to market their products, encourage inter-business networks, enhance backward and forward linkages and act as a forum to exchange business-related information.

Director-general of DCSI, Tandin Tshering, said that CSI was imperative for economic diversification, employment generation and economic self-reliance. “CSI also has a role to play in achieving sustainable development goals of the United Nations.”

Meanwhile, the DCSI awarded Nu 0.2 million each to the five winners of the 2020 Bhutan enterprise award (BEA). This is the eighth edition of the award.

BEA was started in 2013 to enhance the role of entrepreneurs in society and inculcate the culture of entrepreneurship.

During the award, Phuntsho Wangmo of Bhutan Ramen in Thimphu was recognised as the cottage scale entrepreneur of the year. Tashi Dhendup Dorji of Laykha Dairy Delights based in Paro won the small scale entrepreneur of the year and the rural entrepreneur of the year was Tshering Samdrup of Incense Manufacturing Unit in Tashigang.

Kinley Pelden of Yiga Chocolate in Thimphu was recognised as the woman entrepreneur of the year and IT and IT-enabled service entrepreneur of the year was Leki Choden of Dragon Coders Pvt. Ltd in Thimphu.

Founder of Laykha Dairy Delights, Tashi Dhendup Dorji, 29, said shortage of milk was the biggest challenge to thrive despite having 48 members. “I could only supply yoghurt, cheese and butter within Thimphu and Paro.”

He said most people of Paro are selling milk in Thimphu despite having many dairy product shops in Paro. “We are discussing with Paro livestock division.”

He said they could strategise on the issue by letting Parops sell milk to dairy products outlets. “We are paying the same price. We are planning to purchase cows for our 48 farmers,” Tashi Dhendup Dorji said.

Six new CSI products were also launched. The products were Dehydrated Vegetables and Fruits, Cordi vigour and Dhuyetsi Chulen, Egg and Vegetable Noodles, Naturally Dyed Yarn, Music Application and Online Portal for Job Application.

With the addition of these products, DCSI has recognised 26 domestic products as of yesterday.

Economic affairs minister, Loknath Sharma, said people start business in excitement but the product vanishes in few years. “Our CSI products are not available in the market and it is essential to let our people know about the products. All should cooperate for sustainable business, and we should encourage each other to buy domestic products.”

Founder of the Dehydrated Vegetables and Fruits, Eupel Dakini Dorji, said during the nationwide lockdown, she understood the importance of dehydrated vegetables and started the business.

She invested Nu 700,000 received from Loden Foundation and UNDP for the business.

“I encourage people to buy local vegetables from our farmers,” she said. “The main challenge at the moment is the limited packaging material.”

She said she imports the material from India. “Government has the plan to open packaging industries to curb this issue.”