Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Ginger traders in Phuentsholing are worried their stock would rot during the lockdown.

One of the traders, Singey Wangdi of Singey Exports said that he has eight metric tonnes (MT) of ginger in stock.

“Recently, my workers had segregated about 300kg from the total stock. About 80kg was damaged,” he said. “It will be a huge loss for me if I cannot export or sell.”

Singey Wangdi bought the ginger from farmers of Lokchina and Phuentsholing gewogs.

If help does not come soon, he is worried the produce might go waste since Phuentsholing is a red zone area.

Singey Wangdi said it would be of “great help” if the Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCBL) buys from the traders and sells it with other vegetables.

“Many people will buy ginger,” he said, adding that the government could also help arrange for traders to export.

Amochu Exports has about 5MT and it is being dried in an open space.

“For now there is not much damage,” the export manager said. “The government can buy from us or let us export to help us.”

Meanwhile, vendors in the town said they have not much ginger in stock. The villagers have plenty of ginger as this is peak harvest season. 

Phuentsholing gewog Gup Birkha Bahadur Rai said that most farmers are yet to harvest the crop.

“We are collecting the data. Villagers may have more than 20MT,” he said.

Lokchina Gup Indra Lal Ghalley said farmers are worried too.

“Those farmers who have harvested have it at home,” he said. “Many are yet to harvest.”

Prior to the lockdown, a kg of ginger sold at Nu 55. Today, trading market is Nu 70 to Nu 75 per kg across the border.