BEBL Group Aims To Export Bhutan’s Finest Agro-Products To New Markets Such As The Middle-East


Most of the Bhutanese commodities are absorbed within the Indian market, BEBL feels that the farmers are deprived of their deserving market price which is determined by cross border traders.

(Source: Gardentech)


By Krishna Ghalley | Business Bhutan

Bhutan Export Business Line (BEBL), an export-oriented business in Phuentsholing is hopeful to take Bhutanese exports to the next level. Formed by Bhutanese business individuals, the association has already started exporting the country’s commodities into third countries.

Since most of the Bhutanese commodities are absorbed within the Indian market, BEBL feels that the farmers are deprived of their deserving market price which is determined by cross border traders.

“There is scope beyond that which we need to explore,” said BEBL’s Chairman Rinzin Dorji. The popular third country destination for Bhutan’s cash crop is Bangladesh where apples and mandarins are exported in larger quantities. The other market is Nepal for potatoes.

Exploring new markets in the Middle-Eastern countries

BEBL has started exploring markets like Middle-Eastern countries which fetch better prices. He said that while Bhutanese agro-products are highly valued in these countries due to their organic nutrient content, the lack of coordination and marketing strategies have hindered the Bhutanese products from reaching these destinations.




They have procured a cardamom grading machine which is installed in their office. The machine grades the cardamom and the final product is exported.

“Since we are promoting our country image internationally, quality is assured,” said Rinzin Dorji.

So far, BEBL has started only with cardamom but the association will explore markets for other cash crops later. The association plans to source for well-established markets for cardamom exports and venture into other cash crops thereafter.

“Otherwise, we will lack in meeting their demands if we do not establish proper markets and start doing everything at once,” the Chairman said.

Seeking better prices for the top quality agro products from Bhutan's farmers 

BEBL aspires to collect the best quality agro products from the farmers across the country and pay them better prices than what the cross border traders in India provides. BEBL aspires to be a premier export business organisation in the country which is completely operated by its nationals. It also has Bhutanese exporters who deal with the export of apples, mandarins and cardamom.


Source: Tourism Council of Bhutan


BEBL feels that penetrating Siliguri in West Bengal is a challenge as the town is considered a hub for the cardamom export business. However, the association is exploring every means to enter the market and export to third countries which has been limited till now. It has opened its branches in other parts of the country to deal with the farmers.

The other cross border traders however said that Bhutanese products have better scope compared to other neighbouring countries since theirs lack proper packaging for export. Local and cross border traders act as agents to export those products into Indian market.

Challenges faced by the Bhutan Export Business Line

These traders say that the farmers have started cheating the traders by packing inferior quality goods at the base and better quality products on top in a sack a box.


Source: Livestrong 


“Everyone values Bhutanese products and there is no doubt for the prices. Such acts from Bhutanese farmers can decrease the market share,” an Indian trader said adding that customers will lose trust.

However, the BEBL claims that indecent practices from these traders have compelled the farmers to cheat on packaging and the country’s image is taking a beating in the international market.

“There are different deceptive practices being followed especially in weight luring them with attractive rates, but the farmers lose out at the end,” said BEBL’s Chairman.

Meanwhile, BEBL encourage farmers to go for better packaging and quality maintenance. “We will pay according to the quality so that more farmers are encouraged to go for better packaging and products to earn more,” said Shiva Lal Subedi, a member of the group.

BEBL is also exploring other options to export products like medicinal herbs, ginger, avocado, apples and citrus fruits in the future. BEBL emphasised on the necessity of governmental organisations such as the agriculture sector, Department of Revenue and Customs and Trade to facilitate such exports.


This article first appeared in Business Bhutan and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.

Related Posts

Orange Trees Climb Higher in Bhutan with Climate Change

“Since the upper altitude regions are bearing more oranges than lower altitude regions, we believe it’s due to the...

Mar 25, 2018 21:13

A Farmer In Tsirang, Bhutan Learnt The Ropes Of Managing A Kiwi...

Besides kiwi, one can also find avocado, dragon fruit, ground apple, strawberry, cardamom and citrus fruits among others...

Jul 25, 2018 09:03

Eastern Farmers Cashing In On Watermelon Cultivation

Farmers said that growing watermelons is easier than cultivating other cash crops like chillies and potatoes, since...

Jan 28, 2018 16:34

Constructive Steps Need To Be Taken For Bhutan To Become 100%...

Various measures need to be taken for Bhutan to become 100% organic by 2020.

Jun 06, 2018 15:26

White Button Mushroom Trial Cultivation A Success In Chukha,...

In April this year, four areas were identified in Darla (Tala), Chasilakha and Tsimalakha for the trial programme.

Jul 09, 2018 18:27

Growing Black Sesame in Nichula

“The weather and soil are suitable for this crop,” the manager said, adding that the Farm Machinery Centre (FMC) in...

Feb 02, 2018 07:17



Largely Funded By The Asian Development Bank, Bhutan’s First Mini-Dry Port Is Now Completed

The Asian Development Bank funded 81 percent of the total budget as grant while the Bhutanese government funded the rest.

Feb 15, 2019 11:35

Highlights Of The Year Long Bhutan-India Golden Jubilee Celebrations Which Wrapped Up On 8 Feb 2019

“The events reminded us how deep our economic, spiritual and cultural links are,” said the Indian Ambassador to Bhutan, Jaideep Sarkar.

Feb 09, 2019 19:07


One Third Of The Hindu Kush Himalayan Glaciers Could Melt By End 2100: ICIMOD Study

Bhutan will see a rise in temperature higher than the regional average of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

Feb 13, 2019 17:56

To Eat ‘Snacks Or Snakes?’ Discover The Idiosyncrasies Of Bhutanese English

Bhutanese English differs from standard English not only in terms of its accent and pronunciation but also in the usage of words while...

Feb 12, 2019 18:52


Bhutan’s HRH Princess Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck Attended The General Assembly of the Asian Paralympic Committee In Dubai

The General Assembly is the highest decision making body of the Asian Paralympic Movement.

Feb 08, 2019 18:15

9-Year-Old Boy From Bhutan Completes Gruelling Cross-Country Cycling Race

While many thought that the boy would give up after 5 to 6 kilometres, others were concerned that he might get injured.

Feb 01, 2019 16:52


Bhutan Shortlisted As A Finalist For The Intellectual Property (IP) Sharing Project 2019

Bhutan has been selected as one of the four finalists out of 13 countries.

Feb 14, 2019 18:38

Bhutan Records Lowest Inflation Rate In 2018 At 3.13 Percent

For the measurement of the current Consumer Price Index, prices are collected from a sample of 557 outlets.

Feb 11, 2019 18:42


Revival Of Khurul Lake In Lhamoidzingkha – A Special Lake Where One’s Wishes ‘Can’ Be Fulfilled

Today, the lake is fast becoming a tourist spot for both Bhutanese and tourists from abroad.

Jan 20, 2019 15:47

Here’s What It’s Like Inside Asia’s Best Hotel - COMO Uma Punakha In Bhutan

Luxury resort COMO Uma Punakha was awarded best hotel in Asia and third best hotel in the world, by Conde Nast Traveler's Readers Choice...

Jan 18, 2019 17:05


Tshering Zangmo Represents Bhutan At The 5th Young Chef Olympiad In India

Tshering Zangmo has successfully made it to round two of the Olympiad.

Feb 04, 2019 16:35

Bhutanese Boyband O'Strangers To Play In Pattaya For 2 Months

They are the first Bhutanese rock band to perform at Hard Rock Cafe Pattaya in Thailand.

Jan 04, 2019 15:13

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!