Chhimi Dema 

Farmers of Toepisa gewog in Punakha are hoping for better sales from their more comfortable and brand new modern marketing shed. 

The farm produce market at Bjichulum boasts toilets, a continuous water supply, a CGI roof, fans, a big parking area and electrical switches. 

A few weeks ago, most of these vendors were operating from shabby temporary sheds along the Thimphu-Punakha highway without any facilities or safety for themselves and their farm produce. 

The market with 28 sheds was inaugurated on July 15.

Local produce such as cucumber, chilli, fern, mushroom, broccoli, and cheese are available at the market shed. 

A farmer, Lhab Dorji, said that the new shed protects them from the harsh weather. 

“I like it here. It is more spacious and comfortable than the previous shed by the roadside,” he said. “Many people visit so I am hoping business would be better here.” 

He also has electric kitchen appliances to cook at the shed.

Some vendors also sell food items and plants. 

While most vendors find opportunities in the new market, a few remain sceptical.

A vendor, Pema, said that although the shed is comfortable, the business is not profitable as before. 

Pema said that she could sell only a bag of chilli a day before but sold only 4 kgs in the past few days. However, she is hopeful that the business would improve soon. 

Kinley Wangmo, 26, said that the modern facilities make it easier while doing business. 

“Before on the roadside, we had to take all the produce home at night because we had no storage room,” she said. 

The shed would be of immense help for them to do better business and increase their income, others said.