Unlike in the past, the people of Korphu gewog in Trongsa no longer have to go to Zhemgang and Gelephu to buy household necessities.

This is because a Sanam Tshongkhang or farm shop was opened in the gewog a few months ago.

People of the three villages of Korphu, Nabji and Nimshong benefit from the Sanam Tshongkhang.

Villagers are happy that they have the Sanam Tshongkhang from where they get most of what they need in their day-to-day lives.

Civil servants working in these villages also buy their necessities from the shop. More people come to the shop especially during functions and public meetings at the gewog centre.

Chimi Dorji, 61, from Korphu said the farm shop has eased their lives. Villagers can buy everything here including sickles, knives, hammers, spades and seeds besides grocery items like milk powder, salt, rice and sugar.

Chimi Dorji, who usually bought grocery and other items from Gelephu and Zhemgang said the prices of the goods at Sonam Tshongkhang are the same as the price in Gelephu. “Some items like milk powder are sold at an even cheaper rate here,” he said.

Karma, 40, who was looking at the vegetable seed packets on the shelf of the farm shop said the benefit is huge especially as it sells agricultural tools and seeds.

“It was a problem as we had to go to Zhemgang to buy things,” she said. People do not get vehicles when they have to travel to Zhemgang and even walk to Zhemgang sometimes. Zhemgang is a day’s walk from the villages.

Villagers said they could not afford to travel by taxis.

Karma also said the gewog usually remains cut off from Zhemgang for weeks due to landslides during the summer and rations had to be stocked. “We don’t have to worry about that anymore.”

There are two women operating the farm shop today. They open the shop at any time when there are people  coming to purchase commodities.

Damcho Zangmo, one of the two women, said it is convenient for them to open the shop any time as they live in the same apartment. “We even open the shop during the weekends,” she said.

Damcho said it is spring and most of the villagers are buying seeds and agricultural tools today.

During the recent visit, Lyonchhoen Tshering Tobgay urged the villagers to sell their products to the shop besides buying imported items from the shop.

Nima Wangdi | Trongsa