Bhutan’s apple sector has been given welcome news during the nationwide lockdown, with its Agriculture Ministry promising to collect and redistribute commercial crops such as apples, cardamom and mandarin if the lockdown continues. As Kuenselonline.com reports, Agriculture Minister, Yeshey Penjor, said that the government would work together with agriculture officers and private exporters to collect the produce from farmers at collection points and then initiate online exports. All of the fruit would undergo Covid-19 testing and follow the government protocols.
If exports are not possible, the government has vowed to buy back the products, add value, and redistribute the fruit for internal consumption along with essential items during lockdown. “The government cannot pay perfect oriented price but will ensure that farmers do not run into losses,” said Lyonpo, who added that the government should not suffer any losses either.