Smoked fish is made not only in Wangdue, but also in Zhemgang. A woman in Berti, a village about four kilometres from Tingtibi town, recently started a smoked fish business and it is picking up.

One can see ponds and huts by the huge maize field. There is a small structure from where smoke comes out. Carefully prepared fish are placed above small fire in different layers of the grill. This is how she smokes fish.

Pema Choden, 31, who runs this farm, said her smoked fish find better market than the fresh fish. She harvests fish from her pond, smokes and sells them. Many people from Zhemgang and other places come to buy them.

She said the demand for the smoked fish is so high she has difficulty supplying them. “I don’t sell fresh fish much,” she said. She has two ponds in which she has about 30,000 fish.

Pema Choden made about Nu 100,000 by selling both fresh and smoked fish last year. Pema gets telephone calls from hotels demanding smoked fish.

She has only a small structure where she smokes fish but the dzongkhag administration has already built a bigger one where she can smoke more fish. She is now planning to increase production now. She will now be able to dry about 20 kilogrammes of fish at a time.

She sells smoked fish for Nu 150.

Nima Wangdi | Zhemgang