The Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCBL) will now buy cardamom from farmers across the country.

Chief executive officer (CEO) with FCBL Naiten Wangchuk said the government has approved about Nu 50 million (M) to FCBL to facilitate this scheme.

With Nu 50M approved, FCBL would now have a total of Nu 150M to buy cardamom from farmers. FCBL has also been instructed to use the Nu 100M overdraft (OD) facility that was granted last year for potatoes.

“The government wants us to use it as the potato season has not started yet,” Naiten Wangchuk said, adding that the OD facility would be used for potato once the potato season starts.

He said the scheme is at the planning phase and they would be able to implement and start buying cardamom in about two weeks.

“We will meet officials from the cardamom producing dzongkhags,” Naiten Wangchuk said, explaining FCBL would also discuss with the dzongdags and agriculture officers.

Starting yesterday, FCBL started identifying gewogs that have the spice and the volume that could be collected. Unlike the government’s buy-back policy in December 2018, the government this time does not have a specific quantity to buy.

However, a kilogram of cardamom would be bought at Nu 470. This is the price fixed for 2019. If the market price drops, the price would be reduced. The fixed price is also for the best quality cardamom.

Meanwhile, FCBL recently also bought 17MT of cardamom from farmers. This stock of cardamom has been graded as superior quality for export.

FCBL is currently exploring the market for this graded cardamom.

CEO Naiten Wangchuk said FCBL has not yet finalised the destination. “We are looking for a long term market where demand is consistent,” he said, adding FCBL is working in collaboration with international traders.

Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing