Agricultural products to boost the country’s economy

The agricultural minister outlines different marketing strategies developed for the country’s Agricultural Products

During the question-answer session of the National Assembly yesterday, Agriculture Minister Yeshey Penjor said that marketing strategies have been established for agricultural products in order to boost the economy of the country.

Lyonpo said though the Department of Agriculture and Marketing Co-operatives (DAMC) was not able to function for many years, as soon as the new government formed, the DAMC was lifted as it was seen as very important for the exports of the products produced in the country.

“Marketing strategies such as crop prioritization, commercial farming, and internal market mapping were developed while the ministry is working for better testing and certification of the internal products to export. The ministry is also consulting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoAF) and Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) for other alternatives to export goods other than to India and Bangladesh,” Lyonpo said.

Meanwhile, the minister was responding to the query from MP Tenzin from the Khatoed-Laya constituency in Gasa, who asked the minister about the reforms brought by the DAMC to boost the country’s economy.

According to the minister, the ministry is focusing on the quality of internal products to make a good export, fetch satisfactory outcomes, and monitoring the quality of the products.

According to the minister, Dagana, Tsirang, Zhemgang, Sarpang, and Trongsa have the best quality agricultural products from the entire dzongkhags and the ministry has allocated Nu 200mn for such programs.

Meanwhile, MP Norbu Wangzom of the Jomotshangkha-Martshala constituency asked Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor about the ministry’s plans to facilitate and promote the export of agricultural produce from farmers of the eastern dzongkhags through Samdrup Jongkhar and Nganglam.

The minister said the government is focusing on the water flagship programmes, and connecting the villages with roads, which are mainly for the farmers so that their products can reach the markets.

“Establishing of grading and cleaning of the agricultural products at Khaling and value chain processing economic hub to be established at Nganglam is under process, while integrated entry and exit point at Nganglam is also there with the pack house attached,” the minister said, adding that all these programmes are meant for the farmers of the eastern dzongkhags.

Further, the minister said there is also the school feeding program and hospital feeding program, which are initiated by the government to support the local products by supplying the products to schools and hospitals.

The minister also informed the House that a total of nine agricultural products are approved for export including beans, chili, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, and peas by the Indian government, while it has only been two weeks since the Indian government approved the export of ginger.

Responding to agricultural products added to the exportable list by the government, the minister said, “The export of the potato is also expected to begin from the end of this month, making a total of nine products to be exported including asparagus.”

According to the minister, they have sent the samples of different products to different countries for possible export of agricultural products. The samples include potatoes to Nepal and Thailand, while the government is also studying the possibility of exporting cardamom to the Middle East. The samples of incense and Druna-gu have been sent to Malaysia.

Sherab Dorji from Thimphu