Many shoppers at the Centenary Farmers’ Market (CFM) believe that the vendors are selling them imported produce, such as apples and chilies, as a local farm produce on the first floor of the market meant only for the sale of local produce.
Rada Wangmo, a regular customer who comes to CFM on a weekly basis said, “Some products, such as imported apples and vegetables, appear to be promoted as ‘local’. The apple season has not yet arrived. Some of the chillies appeared to be the same.”
Ugyen Om, 25, who frequently purchases vegetables, said “Not just apples, but I suspect that small green chilies and broccoli are imported and presented as local product since they seem identical. Our reliance on imported goods, combined with concerned authority failure, will never lead to self-sufficiency,” she said.
While many CFM vendors denied noticing imported veggies or fruits marketed as local, others indicated they had seen and heard that certain vegetable and fruit vendors were selling imported products on the first floor of CFM.
Karma, a vegetable vendor at first floor said, “Yes, some vendors used to sell imported produce on the first floor.”
She further stated that BAFRA does not check to see if it is imported or not. “I haven’t seen BAFRA doing such checks.”
According to a fruit vendor on the ground floor of CFM, some people take the imported apples upstairs.