Government plans to engage youth in plucking, grading and packing oranges in the country

Meanwhile govt is planning to get the boxes for packing oranges made in the country

The Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that till now the boxes for packing oranges were being imported and for one box it cost up to Nu 80 to 85.

“500,000 boxes are needed for packing and so the private exporters came up and said that they need to import the boxes and we said that these boxes can be made in the country. In the saw mill, they assumed that it will cost up to Nu 120 for a box, so we told them that we will provide them with the wood and to see how much they can give discount. And the sawmill association said that they will work on it and fix a price as low as they can and the extra can be borne by the government,” Lyonchhen said.

Lyonchhen said that the government has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests to have discussions with the private sectors exporters and see how much workers are needed for plucking, grading and packing the oranges and if the workers are not enough in their places then they will provide a team of youths from other dzongkhags and the government will make an announcement on this.

“Regarding oranges we have talked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and we have asked them to study where and what quantities of oranges are produced. They must have done the research by now. We have asked them to talk with the private sector exporters and where they are not able to export the government and FCB will do it, “Lyonchhen said.

Lyonchhen said that the importers from Bangladesh and India brought their workers to pluck the oranges and they have been paying only the prices for oranges and the value additions and chain factors were not managed till date.

“MoAF will have a discussion with the exporters on how much workers are needed for plucking the oranges in a particular area and how many youths are interested to work and how many youths are searching for work in this field and how much the private exporters are willing to pay the workers and if required we will pay them extra. We are working on it and we are also hiring two experts, they will be researching on this matter,” Lyonchhen said.

Lyonchhen said due to the pandemic the export cannot be done easily since the neighboring gates are closed, so temporality they have asked them to open an office to export the oranges if possible.

“Nonetheless, it will be difficult for us to reach up to people’s expectations.  But we will work on it and if people have ideas they are welcome to share with us,” he said.  

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