Vegetable imports will be undertaken to fill up shortage: Agriculture Minister

According to the Agriculture Minister Yeshey Penjore, since it is winter the choices for vegetable will be limited especially with fresh produce, even with import during this pandemic.

The Agriculture Minister said that the Ministry will facilitated the vendors with the mobilization of the resources and whatever is not enough will be imported.

“Currently we have 40 percent of local produce including the dried vegetables in, so it will be enough. By mid January we are expecting our winter vegetables to pick up. Imports will be undertaken to fill up the deficiency gaps,” the Agriculture Minister said, adding that with zone shops within Thimphu Thromde open for providing food supplies to the residents, MoAF has rolled out its resources mobilization exercise and as much as possible, local produce from the farmers will be mobilized.

Lyonpo said, “We already allowed the import of five items of vegetable and now we will allow more to supplement whatever is not enough in the country.”

Lyonpo also said that surplus vegetables from Dzongkhags will be transported to other Dzongkhags and Thromdes for redistribution to the zone shops.

“While GEOs, DAOs, DLOs, LPOs, RAMCOs will facilitate and identified private vendors will implement aggregation, transportation, distribution, all are requested to help us with your feedback. Please let us know where our services are falling short, where resources are available without market, where resources are running short in supplies, where food and essential commodity transporters are stranded. Your feedback will improve our services and make our society more comfortable,” Lyonpo said.

The vegetables will be supplied to the identified shops and the Ministry will not make house to house delivery said Lyonpo.

Considering the conditions in the market, the Ministry have worked out and recommended a set of prices and the Ministry will be presenting that to the task force on Friday.

“Once they decide and approve Office of Consumer Protection and Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regularity Authority will monitor the price in the market,” said Lyonpo.

The Agriculture Minister in earlier interview said that the Ministry is hopeful that once the winter vegetable hits the market the prices of vegetable may come down.

The Agriculture Minister said that it is their responsibility to make sure there is enough stock in the market and also depending upon the local production the country will import the vegetables.

“As local production increases we will reduce the import and vice versa. We are very hopeful that by beginning of January local supplies will be there in the market,” the Agriculture Minister said.

Farmers in southern Dzongkhags have been working in bulk growing Onion, Tomato and Chilli for winter vegetable production.

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