Otherwise known as the vegetable centre of Bhutan, Tsirang imports at least 5 tons of vegetables a week. According to the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) office, potatoes are the main imported vegetables, followed by onions. The district imports an average of 2 tons of potato and 1.2 tons of onion in a week. According to the Renewable Natural Resources Census Reports, Tsirang produces about 3 tons of vegetables including chilli, bean, and cauliflower.
The local leaders, during the recent Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) proposed that the import of vegetables from India be limited. Rangthaling Gup Bal Bdr. Tamang said that many people ventured into commercial vegetable farming over recent years. In Rangthaling alone, he said that residents had procured over 50 power tillers on their own to focus on vegetable production.
“While there is huge potential for mass production, what worries us the most is that whether our farmers will have access to the market in presence of imported commodities,” he told kuenselonline.com. “There were times in the past where our farmers struggled to sell cabbages because imported ones flooded the market.”