Chimi Dema | Dagana

Ginger harvest is nearing in Dagana and Tsirang but farmers are already worried about the market.

Hochu Leki, a farmer in Tsendagang, Dagana said that the dzongkhag agriculture sector had informed farmers that the sector would buy 60 percent of the crop from the farmers. “What will happen to the rest?”

Farmers usually auction the crop to the Food Corporation of Bhutan (FCBL).

“Considering the current situation, I don’t think we’ll find a market,” he said.

Nine households in the gewog grow ginger.

“The delay in auction will also hamper harvesting and transplantation of new saplings,” Hochu Leki said.

Drop in price of ginger is another concern for farmers.

A farmer said that a kilogram of mother rhizome, which could fetch at least Nu 120 in the past, fetched just Nu 54 last season.

A farmer in Mendrelgang, Tsirang, Dawa Tamang, said that a kilogram of tender ginger could fetch only Nu 20. “I’ve around 3,000kg of ginger to be harvested.”

He said that, given the low price, not many farmers in the village were willing to sell their harvest this season. “With the transportation cost, it becomes expensive for us.”

Gelephu-based auction manager with FCBL, Norbu Wangdi, said that an auction was difficult with the prevailing situation. “Without importers allowed to come in, we can’t do an open auction.”