Officials of Gasa dzongkhag and economic affairs minisry, members of the Gasa Rangzhin Sanam Detshen, and hoteliers discussed marketing of certified produce such as potatoes and garlic in Thimphu yesterday.

Gasa Rangzhin Sanam Detshen signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on February 9 with seven high-end hotels – Ariya, Fu Lu Shou, Galingkha, Pedling, Taj Tashi, Tashi Yoedling, Terma Linca.

At the meeting yesterday, Hotel Druk expressed its wish to continue buying the produce. Chuniding Food also joined.

As per the demand by the hotels during the months of June and July, the cooperative has been able to supply 3,000 kilograms of potato and 617 kilograms of garlic.

The supply duration for potato is from July to November, June to September for garlic, and June to January for carrots.

The meeting also discussed effective communication system for efficient demand and supply of the produce using social media groups such as WeChat.

Gasa Rangzhin Sanam Detshen supplies organic potato at Nu 28 per kg, garlic at Nu 120 per kg, and carrot at Nu 60 per kg.

The cooperative transports the produce from Gasa to Thimphu on Tuesdays and distributes it on Wednesdays.

Gasa is trying to achieve its vision of Good to Great Gasa to make Gasa self-reliant and to help the country reduce import.

Gasa Dzongdag Dorji Dhradhul said that organic agriculture and certification is one of the dzongkhag’s initiatives towards becoming a self-reliant dzongkhag.

He said that signing the MoU will help farmers have a guaranteed market, as it is one of the major challenges the farmers face and will also help farmers gain confidence in farming for commercial purposes. “They are not encouraged to produce because they do not know what will happen in the market, so most of our farmers are subsistence but they can go beyond subsistence if we can create this market.”

Karma Cheki