The farmer's groups and vegetable vendors are finally making use of the cold storage facility in Sarpang. These days, more than half of the chambers in the cold store are occupied with vegetables, fruits and meat. Until August this year, the cold store remained utilised. The facility is located in Samtenling Gewog along the Gelephu- Sarpang highway.
One of the farmer's groups who started using the cold store is the Sarpang Youth Group. They utilised the facility since the beginning of August.
They are storing the meat items and then transport it to neighbouring districts as per the demand.
A member of the group said after storing it in the cold store, they need not import ice cubes unlike in the past.
"We can transport fresh meat. In the past, we have many issues. We had to buy imported ice cubes costing Nu 750 per cartons. For one bolero, we need 12 to 13 cartons of ice cubes. It incurs huge expenses. But now, we just need around three to four cartons of ice while transporting the meat items as we can store it in cold storage," said Nimesh Ditali, a member.
In a month, the group has to pay more than 9,000 ngultrum as a charge for using the facility. Whereas for the vegetables and fruits, vendors have to pay more than 4,000 ngultrum.
The cold storage facility has 14 chambers including grading and sorting chambers. Of the 14, eight of them are occupied for now.
Each chamber has a capacity of 24 metric tons.
"People from Paro and Thimphu bring their goods out here. People of Wangdue Phodrang and Phobjikha bring their potatoes out here. They are planning to sell it during the off-season. This will also reduce the import. They also export apples to India. Recently, 100 boxes of apples were exported to India by one of the vegetable vendors," said Namgay Lhamo, In charge of the cold storage.
The cold storage was constructed costing more than 30 million ngultrum. The facility was inaugurated in November last year.