Besides producing about 4000 trays a day, unit cannot meet the demand

Egg: The Bhutan Youth Development Fund’s (YDF) egg tray-manufacturing unit in Bjemina produces about 3,500 to 4,000 trays a day, yet it is not enough to meet the demand of its sole retailer, Karma One-Stop shop.

To meet the demand, the plant has started focusing only on manufacturing egg trays even though it has plans to manufacture other recycled products like fruit trays, waste baskets, seed pots and diversify its production.

Karma One-Stop shop’s general manager Tenzin Tshewang said their requirement is about 40,000 trays a week while the unit’s weekly average is about 20,000 egg trays. However, he pointed out that the shop does not import egg trays from India anymore even if their demand is not met.

“Often there is out-break of poultry diseases and the egg trays imported from India are re-used which risks bringing the infected egg-trays into the country when we import,” he said.

Four months on since its establishment, the unit has earned about Nu 359,800 from the sale of egg-trays. The plant sold 128,500 trays at Nu2.8 a tray to the retailer. The retailer supplies to different dzongkhags at Nu 4 a tray and at Nu3.8 when sold in bulk.

However, the plant has a smaller drying capacity and during monsoon, it takes more time to dry, which hampers production.

The plant has a drying capacity of 6,800 trays. Starting this month, the drying capacity was increased to 10,200 trays after they procured 20 more trolleys. The trays are air-dried and takes at least three days to completely dry for use.

The plant currently has eight employees, two technicians and six recovering addicts. Greener Way supplies the waste papers for manufacturing trays at Nu 6.5 a kg. YDF has signed a contract with Greener Way where the latter has agreed to supply recyclable paper and hire 10 recovering addicts for the purpose.

However, there is only one recovering addict working with the Greener Way. Jigme Thinley said that most recovering addicts don’t seem to like working as a waste paper collector and have refused to take the job up. “People say there is unemployment problem but it is difficult to get people for such works,” he said.

YDF established the unit to reduce the import of egg trays and to meet the cost of a rehab programme.

Dechen Tshomo