Disaster: Due to Thimphu-Phuentsholing highway block, prices of Doma (areca nut) and betel leaf, Bjitsi Ema (small chilli) and eggplant have risen in the Centenary Farmers’ Market (CFM) in Thimphu. Meat shops have run out of stock.

CFM has also run out of vegetables imported from Indian like okra, tomato, onion, bitter gourd, eggplant and cucumber.

Tthough there have been reports of people getting only two quids of doma for Nu 10 and five quids for Nu 20, paan shops were still found giving three quids for Nu 10 and six for Nu 20 until yesterday. But the prices of betel leaf and areca nut have increased in CFM.

A pan shop owner on Norzin Lam, Jit Kumari, said that some pan shops might have reduced the number of quid to two for Nu 10 since doma vendors in CFM have increased the price. “But I am still giving three quids for Nu 10 because I had old stock bought before the roadblock.”

She said that the price of 80 peeled domas has gone up from Nu 250 to Nu 500. A vendor from CFM Tshering Dema, said that all the vendors have increased the price following the roadblock. “We increased the price because there is only limited stock due to roadblocks.”

The price of a bundle of Indian betel leaf has increased from Nu 150 to Nu 200. A bundle of local betel leaf, which used to cost Nu 10, is now Nu 15.

Although no vegetable arrived from India, the prices of local produce, which normally are higher than the imported, has remained unchanged. “But the prices of chili have increased from Nu 100 per kg to anywhere between Nu 150 and Nu 160,” a CFM vendor said.

Dawa Dema, a vendor at CFM, said: “The price of a sack of chili weighing around 25kg could be brought for Nu 1,300 earlier. Now it costs us Nu 2,500.”

It has been found that the price of Bjitsi Ema has gone up to Nu 160 per kg from Nu 100-120 on July 27.

Dawa Dema said that the prices of Bjitis Ema increased because of number of factors. “Although the prices of local produce is usually higher from the imported ones, the recent hike in the cost is because of the ban and due to roadblocks.” She added that even the cost of local eggplant has gone up because of lack of imported brinjal.

The prices of tomato and onion vary in the market between Nu 40 and Nu100 per kg. However, prices of rice, oil, cheese and other essential commodities have remained same.

Pema, the owner of Sangay 78 Tshongkhang, said: “Although the prices have remained same, we have run out of rice and oil with truckloads of goods stranded due to roadblocks.”

The prices of fruits have remained unchanged. But the meat shops in Norzin Lam have run out of meat stock.

Meat seller Dambar Bhadur Bhujel that his shop has run meat. “We have none-fish, chicken, pork and beef. All we are left with is around 15kg shakam (dried beef) and sikam (dried pork).”

Tempa Wangdi