After catering potato and vegetable auctioning service for about eight months, FCBL had finally closed their service for this season. With a closure of a highly successful and busy auction season, it gives our auction team a big sigh of relief and a bit of time to freshen up after eight continues months of extended work time. During auction season, it requires the FCBL team to get to their job as early as 7am in the morning to as late as 11pm to ensure a smooth day-to-day service to our farmers.
FCBL had traded a total of 25,262 metric tones of potatoes and 3,463.7 metric tons of other vegetables items such as carrot, cabbages, beans etc through Phuntsholing auction yard alone. A total of 30,806.3 metric tons of potatoes and 3,463.7 metric tons of vegetables were traded this year through Phuntsholing, Gelephu and Sumdrup Jongkhar auction yards. The records with the FCBL show that overall trading volume has increased by 11.9% and the value increased by 33.3% as compared to the previous year.
In an attempt to mechanize and transform to online auctioning system, FCBL introduced two additional grading machines with financial assistance from Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan (RSEB). A total of 1,443.9 metric tons of potatoes have been traded using the online platform.
Unlike previous years, our farmers fetched a record high price of Nu.57 per kilogram with an average price of Nu. 22 per kilogram for red potatoes. Similarly white potatoes fetched an average price of Nu. 17.62 per kilogram. With the support from the government, FCBL was able to make timely cash payment to the farmers without them having to wait for weeks.
Mr. Ugyen Penjor, the Complex Manager says, "I am happy that our farmers fetched a lucrative price this year. When the price goes up, my team and I feel encouraged to work harder". He added, "Unlike previous years, FCBL was able to make instant cash payments which is a big relief for both the farmers and FCBL".
Prior to the auction season, FCBL in collaboration with the Department of Agricultural Marketing & Cooperatives (DAMC) & the Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan Limited (RSEBL) carried out a rigorous awareness programme across Bhutan and asked farmers to follow a strategic schedule to avoid long queues and overcrowding of trucks around the auction yard. This initiative has helped immensely in managing the auction service. FCBL wishes to conduct similar awareness campaigns in the following year and emphasize more on the online auctioning without compromising on the conventional auction system.