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Indian buyers pay in Ngultrums at auction yard


Currency: To encourage Indian buyers to pay in Rupees at the vegetable auction yard in Phuentsholing, an electronic point of sale (PoS) was installed, but it has proved to be of no use. The Royal Monetary Authority, with an aim to generate rupees, installed the PoS last year.  Buyers, however, prefer to pay in cash, that too in Ngultrums. “While it’s expected that Indian buyers will pay in rupees, it hasn’t been the case,” head of food corporation’s agriculture marketing department, Sangay Wangdi, said. Before [... Read More]

Traditional trade endures


Commerce: Every Wednesday, as the clock strikes 5:30pm, three men in a Bolero pick-up stop at Pachu village under Phuentsholing gewog.  And there they wait.  After 10 minutes, a group of herders turn up looking weary, with horses carrying baskets full of cheese and butter. Herders from Jabana in Paro walk the entire day from Chumina, a village under Lochina gewog in Chukha, and come to Pachu village to sell their butter and cheese – every Wednesday. The herders live in Chumina’s tsamdro and make [... Read More]

A good season for potato farmers


Agriculture: Last year was a good year for the auction yard in Phuentsholing,  with farmers having fetched higher prices for potato compared with previous year. Potatoes fetched on average Nu 18 a kg in 2013 against Nu 16 in 2012. A report compiled by the Food Corporation of Bhutan (FCB) in Phuentsholing shows that there was not much difference in the amount auctioned, but that the prices fetched was good. The report indicates that 20,028 metric tonnes (MT) of potato earning  Nu 337M were auctioned [... Read More]

BAFRA suspends two hotel licences for noncompliance


BAFRA: Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) in Phuentsholing seized grocery items and suspended licence of two hotels for not complying with the Food Act of Bhutan 2005. Inspection that began from March 6 found that many hotels, restaurants, grocery stores and bars sold expired items, had unhygienic kitchen and sold goods without labels written in English. “Most of the grocery shops, including wholesalers like FCB, Damchen and Zimdra, were found selling expired goods,” said a BAFRA official. “There were also many items without [... Read More]

Phuentsholing seals border for election in India


Border: Both the pedestrian and border gates of Phuentsholing was sealed from 6pm yesterday. Human and vehicle movement will be restricted until 6pm today. This is following a letter Dungkhag received from the office of the District Magistrate of Jalpaiguri seeking assistance from Bhutan on the movement of vehicle inside West Bengal district on the poll day in Jalpaiguri. The assistance from the dungkhag according to Dungpa Rabgay Tobden said would mean the border gates would be sealed for both Bhutanese and non-Bhutanese. “We’ve already [... Read More]

PoS make shopping in Jaigaon convenient


Business:  Phuentsholing residents have found a means to avoid paying extra Ngultrum or in Indian Rupee when shopping in the Indian border town of Jaigaon. A number of shops in Jaigaon have installed point of sale (PoS) machines, which has made it convenient for people to shop as they can swipe the VISA debit card issued by Bhutanese banks instead of carrying cash. This has come as a huge relief as traders in Jaigaon started charging more if paid in Ngultrum since the INR shortage [... Read More]

Farmers grow new variety maize to maximise economic viability


Agriculture: Villagers of Sadhu Madhu in Phuentsholing are now growing five varieties of maize to maximise economic viability and sustainability. The village of 26 households has a total of about 30 acres of land where the farmers grow paddy. Now, paddy will be grown only after harvesting maize. The farmers have tried four-hybrid and one local maize variety from Trashiyangtse distributed by RNR DC Wengkhar in Mongar. Farmers are brimming with hope because the local variety of maize that the farmers used to grow yielded [... Read More]

What parents learned in school


PROGRAM Proper communication, providing care, being friendly and spending more time with children is what parenting is all about. Parents in Phuentsholing who attended the school based parenting education and awareness program (SBEA) said, communication meant being open with children to inculcate traits like honesty and to feel comfortable with each other. More than questions, parents are to listen to what their children have to say and to give opinions and to find solutions together. A working mother, Sonam Chuki, said through such elements parents [... Read More]

Revenue from mandarin decrease

Export: Citrus greening in mandarin-growing areas has led to an overall decline in the production of orange and revenue from its export. Frequent strikes in Bangladesh played a significant part in the decline. As per the record with Bhutan Exporters’ Association based in Phuentsholing, about 12,791MT of mandarin was exported to Bangladesh.  That is USD 5.63M worth of export from the country. The association’s general secretary Tshering Yeshi said the export and the revenue generation declined almost by 50 percent compared with last year. In [... Read More]

Phuentsholing residents observe WH Day


Health: Phuentsholing residents and students observed the World Health Day (WHD) yesterday with a massive cleaning campaign. This year’s theme for the WHD was Vector-borne diseases: know before you travel. Vector-borne diseases are becoming a global concern. Health minister Tandin Wangchuk said about 70 percent of the population lives in malaria risk areas like Sarpang, Samdrupjongkhar, Samtse, Chukha, Dagana, Pemagatshel and Zhemgang. These dzongkhags experience malaria transmission throughout the year. “The theme is timely as we’re once again noticing resurgence of vector-borne diseases worldwide,” said [... Read More]

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