Neten Dorji | Doksum

Vegetable vendors at Doksum, Trashiyangtse, could have access to a permanent vegetable market shed in the new town from next month.

The shed is being constructed by the dzongkhag administration, as proposed by the vegetable vendors and residents of Doksum town.

The shed will accommodate more than 20 imported vegetables and organic sellers. It will also be supplied with electricity, water, and toilet facilities.

The existing vegetable market shed on the Doksum-Trashiyangtse highway has affected the business of shopkeepers.

“Since they sell other dry products right at the highway, we hardly get any customers here,” said one of the shopkeepers. “We are not against them selling locally-grown vegetables, but if they sell only vegetables from the shed, it would allow customers to visit our shops.”

He said the new shed would benefit both vendors and shopkeepers who run businesses in the new town.

Currently, there are five vendors selling both locally-grown and imported vegetables and fruits from India. “Like the rest of the business operators in town, we are also liable to pay taxes. Sometimes it is difficult to even make Nu 50 a day because they sell what we are selling,” said another shopkeeper in the new town.

While the old Doksum town relocated to the new Doksum town area, the residents also requested the relocation of the vegetable shed.

Karma Lhamo, the representative of Doksum town, said that the new vegetable shed will benefit residents as well as vendors.

“Shopkeepers are complaining about how it is affecting their business while vegetable vendors sell other dry products. We appreciate the new vegetable shed,” she added.

The vendors claimed that compared to the past, their business has declined due to a lack of customers. “We are doubtful of getting customers in a new town,” said a vendor. “Our business goes well in the old structure.”

Deputy Chief Dzongkhag Agriculture Officer, Chimmi Drakpa, said that with support from the Commercial Agriculture and Resilient Livelihoods Enhancement Programme (CARLEP), the dzongkhag administration has awarded the work.

“After the new vegetable shed is handed over to vendors, the old vegetable shed will be used by farmers to sell only local products,” he said. “It will encourage farmers to grow vegetables, and a market will be available for local products.”

CARLEP has provided Nu 5 million in support for the project.