Choki Wangmo  | Tsirang

Until recently, Indra Maya Subba from Serutar in Tsirangtoed had been selling her agricultural produce from a hut at Changcheydovan along the Thimphu-Tsirang highway.

It has been a week since she moved to a vegetable shed built by the dzongkhag agriculture sector. About five vendors occupy the new vegetable shed which was recently completed with access to a washroom.

“We can do business in comfort and our sales have improved. With the facelift, many customers stop along the way to check our products,” said Indra Maya Subba who brings produce from her village.

A two-block vegetable shed was also built at Serutar. Most of the vendors are women, selling local produce like home-made pickles, vegetables, honey, and dairy products. About 15 women occupy these newly built sheds.

A vendor from Dagana, Sonam Choden said that she had been selling agricultural produce from the huts made from CGI sheets in the past decade.

Although business had been down due to Covid-19, she said that with the new sheds, she expects increased income from sales. “Vehicles travelling along the highway now stop to check our products. We don’t have to stay in the sun and rain. Huts were not so comfortable.”

Chair of Serutar marketing group Rinzo Sherpa said that the way of business had improved by leaps. In the past, it was challenging to vendors and the huts made the area look ugly.”

Tashi Dorji said that the residents proposed for new vegetable sheds to the gewog administration but it was not approved. He said that the business is yet to improve from the impacts of the pandemic and successive lockdowns and movement restrictions.

Senior dzongkhag agriculture officer, Dorji Gyeltshen, said that the huts along the highway were not aesthetic.

The agriculture sector spent Nu 900,000 to construct the sheds.

“To give vendors comfort while doing business, we had to seek the funds,” Dorji Gyeltshen said. 

Edited by Tshering Palden