Bhutan: Chilli prices rising

While the Government is launching an ambitious plan to meet the demand for chillies, import restrictions have made the problem worse.

In the past week the price of chillies has shot up to Nu 300 a kilogram in Thimphu. A kilogram of chilli usually costs Nu 200, marking a sharp rise in prices. Suppliers are reporting a drought in the vegetable markets.

An estimate by the ministry shows that the country’s need for chillies during the winter is about 1,527 metric tonnes (MT) considering that two thirds of the annual import of chillies, which is 2,291MT, is consumed during wintertime.

After banning cauliflowers, beans, and chillies earlier this year, the government said arrangements would be made to maintain supply until the bans are lifted.

Following the ban on cauliflower and beans, the Department of Agriculture, in consultation with Dzongkhag agriculture sectors, have prepared commercial winter vegetable production plans, hoping to increase production of selected vegetables during the winter.

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