FCBL & FMCL launch Drukgi Khamtey, a rice variety

In a step towards promoting locally produced goods in the country, the Food Corporation of Bhutan launched Drukgi Khamtey, a rice variety. The product is a result of a collaborative effort between the FCBL and Farm Machinery Corporation Limited aimed at ensuring food security. Khamtey rice is known for its unique taste which sets it apart from other rice varieties locally produced in the country. It is grown in the southern foothills of Phuntshothang Gewog and Pemathang Gewog of Samdrup Jongkhar. According to the FCBL officials, given its unique taste, delicate fragrance and texture, it has become one of the preferred rice varieties for Bhutanese. However, FCBL officials said, it is not widely available in the market. "We have decided to work and launch Khamtey first because it is quite popular but if we go looking for Khamtse rice, then it is quite difficult to get it. There is no one working towards making it available widely besides its demand among the people. So, we have decided to consult the people and lead the initiative so that anyone wanting khamtey can get it from the FCBL," said Dorji Tashi, CEO of FCBL, Phuentshogling, Chhukha. Last year the FCBL and FMCL signed an agreement to collaboratively produce, promote and market the Khamtey rice. The strategic partnership intends to drive a community-focused initiative with FMCL focusing on production while the FCBL would work on promotion, distribution and marketing. "FCBL's mandate is to ensure the supply of essential goods for our people. Another mandate we have is to promote our local products both within the country and outside. Today the FCBL and FMCL have launched the Khamtey rice and we will further work on other products," added FCBL's CEO. The initiative is also expected to encourage the farmers to grow the rice variety and ease market issues. FMCL produced 20 metric tons of Khamtey rice last year.

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