Rinchen Zangmo | Dagapela
The Dagap farm festival saw more than a thousand people gather at the Dagapela Middle Secondary School’s ground surprising local farmers.
From traditional cuisine to local bamboo and cane handicrafts, the festival exhibited a rich variety of local products and unique cultural items. It ended yesterday with most stalls earning more than what they expected.
Laja gewog’s administrative officer (GAO), Pema Jamtsho said that on the first day, the total income was made was about Nu 19, 000.
“Most of us didn’t expect to earn much. We’re excited about it and now will make the most of it next year onwards.”
He said that while some products were in demand and fetched more money, others were not familiar among people. “We thought that there was no market for local honey as it costs Nu 2,000 for 200ml, but products flew off the shelves and many more people came looking for it afterwards.”
Local orchids were easily sold out. “Looking at this trend from the festival, I feel assured that there is a market for these products.”
He said that they had only about two months to prepare for the festival after the dzongkhag tshogdu’s decision to host it. It was one reason why the participants couldn’t show as many handicraft products. “Now, we have an overall idea about the shapes and sizes people look for and we will focus on that next year.”
One of the customers, Leki Wangmo from Gangzor, said that the products exhibited at the event were unique and interesting. “Even the delicacies were now rarely made or eaten nowadays. I feel that such an event was important as it helped farmers sell their products.”
Dorona GAO, Namgay Dorji, said that the stall had made a sale of about Nu 28,000 in two days. “Although most of our products were sold, we couldn’t sell dollay chili.”
However, some of the customers said that the price of some goods at the event were higher than the market price. For instance, oranges and ground apples were expensive.
Sangay Penjor from Tseza gewog said that they earned about Nu 17,000 on the first day. “It was unexpected as I felt most people would opt for other junk food at such a festival.”
Dagana economic development officer, Tshering Ngedup said that the programme was a success. “I feel that the purpose of the programme was met as many farm produce were showcased and there were people buying their products.”
He said that in the following years, there will be diversification and more local products would be exhibited.
According to the Population and Housing Census of Bhutan 2017 Dagana as one of the poorest dzongkhags.