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Bhutan potato farmers have trouble transporting their potatoes

November 5, 2011
In Bhutan, potato farmers have seen the price of potato transport double and have no options but to take it.

While the yield is good this year, farmers supplying potatoes from the six eastern dzongkhags to the auction yard in Samdrupjongkhar say transporting them to the border town has become expensive.

Without an official rate fixed, truckers charge according to the number of sacks and not by the quantity in the sacks, according to farmers. Farmer Choki Dorji paid between Nu 85 to Nu 100 a sack for transporting potatoes from Bumdeling, Trashiyangtse to Samdrupjongkhar auction yard.

He said the fare has doubled from last year’s Nu 45-50 a sack. Some farmers make two to three trips to Samdrupjongkhar.

“When we try to bargain, they refuse to carry our products, and say the increase in fare was because of the recent hike in fuel price,” Choki Dorji said. “We’re left with no options but to take it.”

He also said that truckers refused to carry the load, if farmers have less than 100 sacks of potatoes. About 140 sacks makes a truckload.