Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

More than 300 metric tonnes (MT) of ginger were damaged at the Food Corporation of Bhutan’s (FCB) auction yard in Samdrupjongkhar after FCB could not export them to India.

FCB complex manager, Sawdev Koirala, said that FCB bought more than 1,000MT of ginger, paying Nu 30 for a kilogram of grade A, Nu 25 for grade B and Nu 20 for grade C. “This is the rate approved by the government.”

“We could not export because India banned the import of ginger,” he said, adding that the FCB started the export from the third week of May as they got approval for export on May 19.

He said the FCB exported more than 500MT of ginger to India at Nu 6.5 to Nu 8 a kg, adding that they also could not export ginger to Bangladesh because they could not meet the quality.

The complex manager said that the bidders were segregating the ginger paying Nu 500 a worker because some were not damaged. “However, farmers did not incur losses because they were paid.”

The Rin-yang export’s owner, Rinchen Dorji, said he exported about 230MT so far and has more than 100MT left. He said that he paid Nu 6.5 to Nu 8 a kg to FCB and is exporting them at USD 150 per MT.

He said that it’s challenging because he pays Nu 500 to a worker a day to sort ginger. “The ginger would not have been damaged if the exporters and FCB could have exported on time.”

Exporters said that they could not export ginger on time because there was no intervention from the relevant authorities despite the imports being banned in India.

“It’s important that the government should either strictly implement the buy-back policy or intervene when the concerned authorities such as the FCB and exporters face challenges in exporting ginger,” an exporter said.