FCB: Layaps will no longer pay more for commodities or worry about stocking them with a farm shop now open in Laya.

The department of agriculture and marketing cooperatives in collaboration with Food Corporation of Bhutan (FCB) started the farm shop yesterday.

Gasa dzongdag Dorji Dhradhul said considering the remoteness and extreme weather condition, Layaps had to buy good and commodities at an inflated rate. Essential commodities like rice, salt and grocery items are priced three times more than the price in Punakha.

Dorji Dhradhul said all essential items would be available at the farm shop besides farm tools and seeds that would be sold at a lower price than the present market rate in Laya.

For instance, a packet of waiwai noodles cost Nu 45 in Laya while it costs Nu 12 at the farm shop.

“The government would bear the transportation charges until the farm shop stabilizes,” the dzongdag said.

Dorji Dhradhul also said that the farm shop will not only ease the inflation burden on Layaps, but would also fulfill the government’s objective to act as an agent for local produce.

The farm shop operates from the existing RNR meeting hall in Laya. FCB has stationed a staff to operate the farm shop and maintain accounts.

Dorji Dhradhul said that although FCB gave the option to appoint a resident to operate the farm shop, none were interested.

Layaps migrate to Punakha and Wangdue during the winters. When they return home, they bring all the essential items. Those with more money and mules transport goods in bulk to be sold at a higher price in Laya.

Gasa dzongkhag is also planning to start a farm shop in Lunana once the weather condition improves within a month or two. The farm shop will operate from a guesthouse in Lunana, which remained under utilized for years. The two gewogs of Khamey and Khatoe will also get a farm shop each.

Gasa dzongrab Chewang Jurmi and laya gup Kinley Dorji inaugurated the farm shop in presence of about 60 Layaps.

Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue