The Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering during Meet-the-Press yesterday said that the government has decided to build two cold storage units with multi chambers of 250 metric ton and 300 metric ton capacity worth Nu 17 to 20 million each.
“The government will be starting a few cold storage facilities on a trial. If it goes well we can extend it. These facilities will store the surplus vegetables and fruits in the peak season and make it available in the market during the dry season. There is no profit in keeping potatoes in cold storage, however, apples are profitable for farmers,” the Prime Minister said.
Agriculture Minister Yeshey Penjore said that if the marketing facilitation is made properly there won’t be any problem in marketing.
“If we build integrated warehouse, which include storage and value addition, it will solve the problem of marketing in the country. The farmers will be encouraged and show interest and production will also boost,” the Agriculture Minister said, adding that if the trial is successful then the government will add more facilities in the country.
Meanwhile, PM said that the committee under Ministry of Agriculture is working on the marketing strategies and studying what vegetables are coming from where and where it is needed.
“The government has been encouraging the people to carry out farming and the vegetables will come in soon, and there might be excess of vegetables this year. For this, we are mapping on how and where to take the excess vegetables, like whether we should export the excess vegetables. If so, how it should be done at this time and I have asked them to look into whether if online import and export system will work or not if created,” the PM said.
PM said that a Nu 200 million budget has been given to the Bhutan Livestock Development (BLD) Corporation to carry out a project.
“BLD has approached and said that if Nu 200 million budget is granted from the government, they can carry start a project and they can work smoothly, and they will be able to produce everything in 5 months,” said PM, adding that Nu 46 million has been also given to Farm Machinery Corporation Limited (FMCL) for land development and commercial farming.