The mandarin export is progressing well
Concerned about mandarin export in light of the ensuing pandemic, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MOAF) started preparations for exports from as early as October in consultation with the Bhutan Exporters Association (BEA), the Royal Bhutanese Embassy at Dhaka, Bangladesh and Royal Bhutanese Consulate Office at Kolkata, India.
According to the Director General of Department of Agriculture and Marketing Cooperatives Ugyen Penjore, in preparation, the ministry also stationed officers from the Department of Agricultural Marketing and Co-operatives (DAMC) at Phuentsholing, Samdrup Jongkhar, Gelephu and Nganglam to facilitate export of mandarin.
He said that as a result, despite few minor setbacks now and then, mandarin export has and is progressing well.
“As of January 13, almost 4,500 MT had been exported; with almost 85 per cent going to Bangladesh; with the remaining bound for India,” he said.
Fruits that are not able to conform to export standards are absorbed by the Bhutan Agro-Industries Ltd.
As of Wednesday, the BAIL plant at Wangchutaba had procured 19 MT of fruits at the rate of Nu. 15 per kg; while the plant at Lingmithang, Monggar has absorbed a little over 52 MT (over 20 per cent of the 52 MT is premium quality oranges which are procured at Nu. 40 per kg to be used to produce premium quality juice); while the National Post-Harvest Centre Sub-Centres (NPHC-SC) at Dagapela and Pema Gatshel has procured close to 20 MT of fruits to convert to pulp.
The ministry is also helping orange growers of places such as Dagana, Tsirang and Zhemgang link up with Fruit Wholesalers to supply good quality fruits to Thimphu.
There are 17 exporters involved in the export of mandarin this season.
So far, more than 25 MT of oranges have been distributed within Thimphu city alone and the volume is increasing over time.
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