Farmers are now looking forward to growing diverse fruits as the agriculture ministry is in the process of establishing cold storage facilities in places, like Gelephu in Saprang , Nganglam in Pemagatshel and Gyelposhing and Lingmethang in Mongar and Samdrupjongkhar
With such facilities in place, the Agriculture Minister, Yeshey Dorji, said that the farmers can store the fruits for longer period without spoilage. The farmers can even market the stored fruits during lean seasons.
“The construction of cold storage facilities is going on and once it completes, it would cater to the needs of storing fruits,” Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said.
Once all the cold storage facilities are operational, the ministry is optimistic that the current problems faced by the farmers will be solved. The ministry said this will also help to increase fruit production.
So far, without concrete steps taken to advance the market for fruits, farmers, especially in the rural areas, were discouraged to take care of their orchards and also to grow varieties of fruits.
Most farmers have had to either consume their fruit harvest or let it rot due to no mechanism to preserve the fruits. Other hurdles the farmers face is transportation facility and finding the right market.
Initiatives are in place to introduce subsidized transportation facilities for fruit growers who are unable to sell their fruits in their nearby market.
According to the Agriculture Minister, farmers who are unable to find markets for both fruits and vegetables can ferry their farm produce to the markets in the country by using the subsidized transportation.
Lyonpo shared that farmers in the gewogs can inform their nearest agriculture extension office should they have problems in finding market, and accordingly the transportation arrangements will be made for the farmers.
Lyonpo said that such stabilized transportation system is intended to benefit farmers and encourage them to grow more fruits.
Lyonpo said that once the argo-based industry in Lingmethang in Mongar is completed, farmers in the eastern region will see a significant demand for fruits, therefore, finding market for the fruits growers will be resolved.