Nima | Gelephu

The only organic compost producer in Sarpang is struggling to find a reliable market.

Bhu-Org farm in Samtenling produces over 300 metric tonnes of organic compost a year. However, there have been few buyers. Many farmers in the country are unaware of the benefits of using organic compost.

The owner of the firm, Kamal Pradhan, said that there was a requirement of 70,000 metric tonnes of organic compost in the country.

He added that it was important to encourage farmers to use organic fertilizers to promote farm produce as niche products. “We should encourage the use of organic fertilizers and create awareness about it.”

Bhu-Org farm sold over 80 tonnes of compost in 2021, 70 tonnes in 2020, and 100 tonnes in 2019. It plans to expand the unit and increase production capacity to 500 tonnes per year and set up a compost manufacturing plant at Jigmeling Industrial Estate by 2022.

But the government’s plan to produce bio-fertilizer, he said, could affect the private firms.

Kamal Pradhan said that it was important to take the private sector in confidence with such initiatives and work together.

Farm Machinery Corporation Limited and B&B Korea Corporation Limited will be establishing the country’s first bio-fertilizer plant in Athang gewog, Wangdue by next year.

The plant will use local and organic raw materials to produce organic fertilizers and help sell organic produce in the global market.

The owner of Bhutan Organic Fertilizer in Pasakha, Prem Singh Lepcha, said that it would be difficult to sustain the business without support from the government.

“However, if we work together with the government, there will be no problem. We have our own strategy to distribute the product to our users. It will depend on the quality and service we provide,” he said.

He added that the plant uses local raw materials, workforce, and sells the product back to the community.

“It’s a community development initiative. The money never goes out,” said Prem Singh Lepcha, who invested over Nu 6 million to set up the organic fertilizer manufacturing plant in Pasakha.