Farmers from Trashigang and Trashiyangtse who sell their agricultural produce along the footpath near Methidrang stream instead of the vegetable shed in town will be penalized soon if they fail to stop hawking on the streets, according to the Trashigang Thromde Thuemi, Thinley Namgay.
The local farmers sell items like chilies, cabbage, radish, beans, and fruit items like palm and cucumber.
Although the ground floor of the vegetable market shed has been designated for the local products, the facility remains unused as farmers prefer selling their produce along the roadside.
Sangay, a farmer form Trashiyangtse said that it is difficult to sell vegetables at the shed. “Only a few customers visit the vegetable shed. We come all the way from Trashiyangtse so we have to sell the vegetables quickly and return home.”
Another vendor said that since customers do not visit the shed regularly, they had to shift their location. She said that they come all the way from their villages in the hope of making some money so they just cannot dump their vegetables time and again. “Business is good outside the shed.”
However, business along the roadside has affected the business of vegetable vendors who actually sell at the market. Currently, more than six vendors at the vegetable shed sell both local and imported vegetables and fruits from India.
A vendor from the shed said that their business has been affected because of the lack of customers. “Since the roadside vendors sell their products right at the entrance, we hardly get customers here.”
Additionally, she said that if they sell from the shed below, it would allow customers to visit the stalls at the vegetable market too.
Another vendor from the vegetable shed said that due to the roadside vendors most often the shed vendors have to dump their vegetables and run into losses.
Meanwhile, the Thromde Theumi said that though selling of vegetables along the footpath is not legal, people do it nevertheless. “Although we have a fine system, we do not want to penalize the farmers as it is hard earned money for them.”
He said that despite several warnings, people are not willing to sell from the shed. He added that he has written to the gewog authorities to sensitize farmers not to sell their products along the roadside in town but people are still not willing to comply with instructions.
“We will soon use signboards and start imposing fines on vendors who sell along the roadside,” said the Thromde Thuemi.
Jigme Wangchen from T/gang