Skip to main content

We killed our Golden Goose

One of our most significant events this year is that of Bhutan’s exporting of eggs to India. A few years ago, we were importing them – in truckloads. This goes to show that we have the potential to grow and progress as a country, provided we put in a little more effort and work harder. Did you know, Bhutan today has 422,648 hens and produces 251,678 eggs a day? 

In July 2016, Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) banned the import of chilies from India reasoning that the laboratory tests conducted confirmed presence of pesticides. And right there was our opportunity to grow on our own. The news was like winning a lottery and it sure was a boon to many a Bhutanese chili growers, as they now had ready market san competition from cheap chilies from across the border.

Then came the ‘off season’. That is when the price of chilies unreasonably shot up as high as Nu. 300-400 per kg. It was unreasonable and daylight robbery, many people protested. And then people took to the social media. Newspapers, radio stations, national televisions were filled with nothing but chilies. “Can chilies bring down a government,” someone posted on Facebook. And then the authorities had to look for options in chilies from Kolkata, India. 

And with that, we have lost our opportunity. The ban was an excellent opportunity for our farmers to grow and grow more. BAFRA’s ban of chilies was our golden goose. But now we killed it, for good. At this rate, we can never be self-sufficient. We will always need to import vegetables from India and more so in winters.

But Bhutan is not like India. We have places that stretch from 100 meters and rise to above 5,000 meters above the sea level. And such differences in elevation means we can grow vegetables throughout the year. Yes, even chilies can be grown all year around, in different places – south, east, west and central. That's the blessing we have in Bhutan. When it is the so-called ‘off- season’ in the south, it would be the right season for these vegetables in cooler regions, and vice-versa. Who knows just like our egg-story, our chilies may find their ways to India, too?

But now our farmers would not grow chilies more than they can consume as Bhutanese markets will be filled with cheaper options. Where is the incentive to grow more?

I hoped that the ban would trigger many good things in the country. But it is a lost opportunity now. Our greedy middlemen managed to kill our golden goose. These greedy people deserve all our praises! 

But again, how can we blame them? Come to think of it, do they control the prices? It is the market forces. Higher the demand and lesser the supply – perfect combination – for higher prices of goods and services. Simple economics. 

P.S: Pictures are from my friend Tharchen's collection ( www.tharchen.com

Comments

  1. It's too bad about the chilies ... but it's great that Bhutan can grow vegetables all year around. I love Canada but I wish we could grow all of our veggies xox

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

So what do you think?

Popular posts from this blog

Utpal Academy - Bhutan's first All-girls High School

Academic Block Welcome to Bhutan’s first all-girls school. Isn’t that wonderful news to all our parents? Certainly, as a parent of a one-year old daughter I am excited about the coming of a school exclusively dedicated to the needs of girls. Our girls need special treatment, which we can for sure entrust the responsibility to Utal Academy, Paro. Dinning Hall I really like the name – Utpal – in Buddhist world, Utpal is another name for lotus flower, which is believed to grow from mud and yet blossoms into a beautiful and majestic flower. It stands for purity and many deities are depicted holding flower Utpal, more prominently Jestusn Dolma, the Goddess Tara. Symbolically, it also stands for the transformation of our girls. What an apt name for the school! Hostel Room The Principal’s message posted on the academy’s website promises providing our young women an “opportunity to participate fully in a wide range of extracurricular activities to develop skills and qualities that

Unblocking

  That in the end is what we make out of it. After all, a block is something everyone suffers once in a while, but they have overcome it by doing more and more regularly. Such is the power of practice – you can already feel it coming back. Such is the power of consistency - imagine how much better it would come out if we do it on a more regular basis.    I am a firm believer that we need practice but have failed more than once to keep up to that belief. Now I believe that everyone does this regularly. That's why, I need to invest more time and effort in honing this skill. I know I have deviated a lot from my original thought process, and I am aware of it. But I am also doing it with a purpose. And that's to say that I am going through a lot these days and have failed to express myself more effectively.  

Fighting RCSCE-phobia

Now that the orientation is over, graduates all over Bhutan would be hunting for information and scratching through all our history books. And in absence of readily available information, it is going to be so frustrating for many. There are are aspirants like Tashi.P Ganzin who are already seeking divine intervention- whether to appear or not to.  This is the biggest moment in a graduate’s life – it’s time to learn and relearn so many things about the home and the world. And they need good attention from their parents and relatives, guidance and advice from elders. I am sure all 1300 graduates who attended the NGOP may not appear RCSC Common examination, but we need to inspire and encourage those that brave the odds. Many of my friends are waiting to take the exam of their life – their future will either be made or broken when RCSC declares the results. And my full prayers and support are with them. They are terribly afraid of it to say the least. I heard while there are no prob