A farmer dealing with bio-fertilizer from Ramitey in Phuentsholing, PB Ghalley, 63, is hoping to expand the market for his product apart from Thimphu and Phuentsholing.
PB Ghalley produces bio slurry compost – an organic fertilizer that is made from bi-product waste of bio gas which is composted and sold as fertilizer. He sells the fertilizer at Nu 20 per kg and has sold around Nu 0.3mn worth of compost so far from 2015.
Most of his product goes to Thimphu and some to the local market in Phuentsholing. He also receives few travelers from Phuentsholing to Thimphu. The farmer sells around five mt of compost annually in the capital.
And with the business becoming successful, he says he now wants to increase market for his product across the country.
It was back in 2015, when PB Ghalley started this business at Ramitey, about 10 kilometers away from Phuentsholing, with support from Bhutan Biogas Project and National Organic Program (NOP). He then constructed beds to dry the semi liquid waste from the biogas plant and a tank to store his compost before packaging.
Along with his family members, PB Ghalley works on the project to dry and pack the products before they are sold. He has also received sewing machine for the bag from the project, among other supports.
Besides the NOP, PB Ghalley’s fertilizers have also been supplied to the Flower Exhibition for two consecutive years. The NOP has also assisted the farmer to find markets in the capital.
“We remain indebted for the support rendered to us from the start,” PB Ghalley said.
The compost unlike the normal cow dung was tested and found best for floriculture and particularly for potato cultivation.
“But we have also used in other agricultural activities, which proved better than the normal cow dung,” PB Ghalley said, adding that it has also been tested for its nutrient contents at laboratory in Bangladesh.
The compost was first launched at the Centenary Farmers Market by Agriculture Minister Yeshey Dorji in 2015.
PB Ghalley said he took up interest in the commercialization of this product to stop people from using chemical fertilizers for their crops and floriculture.
“The product is new to the people. Our government has made numerous efforts to promote organic farming. I am just supporting the government by supplying organic fertilizer. It has helped me to earn also,” he added.
Meanwhile, PB Ghalley has also received positive feedbacks for his compost from consumers.
“But without local market, we can only rely on the government organizations,” he said, adding that he delivers the product which is being ordered to the local market. “As the plant is located right below the Phuentsholing-Thimphu highway, people can also grab this product while travelling to and from Thimphu.” He packs the compost in a five-kilogram bag, thus making it convenient for his buyers to carry them as well.
Meanwhile, an official from NOP, Jigme Wangchuk said the project being first of its kind in the country is expected to boost farmers’ income apart from being organic and eco-friendly.
“Farmers can earn from bio-slurry compost too without having to rely only on dairy products,” he said.
PB Ghalley, meanwhile, plans to extend his plant with better facilities in the future if his sale boosts.
“If we receive compensation, we will make it bigger to meet demand in the future,” he said, while remaining optimistic to boost his sale too.
Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing