Phurpa Lhamo | Gasa

Farmers of Khatoed gewog in Gasa, who harvested garlic recently, are worried, as there is no market to sell their produce.

Dechen Pelden, 35, who harvested garlic from her two acres of land is now drying and cleaning it.

Last year, she sold the garlic to vendors who came to Gasa to buy the produce. A kg of garlic fetched Nu 200. “I am worried about the market this year. People cannot come here easily because of the pandemic.”

According to Khatoed gewog agriculture extension officer, Tshewang Gyeltshen, 43 households in the gewog grew garlic.

He said in 2018 and 2019, farmers were connected with Bhutan Smart Shop to sell their produce.

Last year, many farmers sold garlic to local vendors and vendors who visited Gasa.

Tshewang Gyeltshen, however, said connecting farmers with agents was a challenge, as farmers mix small and standard sized garlic while selling. “They also don’t get the price they want.”

He added that farmers wanted to sell garlic at Nu 250 a kilogramme this year. “I don’t think they would fetch the price.”

However, farmers pointed out that growing garlic was a tedious job.

Garlic needs weeding before the leaves grow. “After the sprouting was visible, weeding should be avoided to avoid uprooting the garlic,” a farmer said. “Since it is rainy and cold in Gasa, we have to take care of the garlic after harvesting so that the produce is not damaged.”

Edited by Tashi Dema