Green tea plantation brews good business in Samcholing

Email

After spending 15 years of her life in Thimphu, raising children and trailing her husband, 58-year-old Rinchen decided to return to her village in Samcholing, Trongsa in 2003

The following year she decided to commercialise tea plantation. With the community with her, the Samcholing green tea cooperative was formed.

While the young people in the community are unaware of how the tea plants appeared in the community, those like Richen claim that it came during the time of the Second King. She believes that there happened to be a palace of His Majesty Jigme Wangchuck in Samcholing, where three tea plants were planted.

Of late, she said that the ministry of agriculture nurtured some saplings and distributed to the community. Rinchen was the first to initiate a mass plantation.

Today, there are 27 registered members of the cooperative and more wanting to join. Plantation area from the members alone covers 47 acres of land. Rinchen has more than an acre of land, which was lying fallow until 2003.

The chairperson of the cooperative, Yangden, said that it takes at least three years to raise the plant and harvest.

However, she said the first harvest yielded only three packets of green tea amounting to Nu 4,000. The yield increased the following years. “Last year I earned Nu 35,000,” Yangden said.

The gewog office buys saplings from Rinchen’s nursery and distributes to the community. She sold saplings worth more than Nu 80,000 last year.

While the plantation is becoming popular, the government, according to the villagers, has ceased its support to fund and procure the packaging materials.

Yangden said that whatever packaging resources are available have been exhausted.

She said that the gup was sent to Kolkota, India, to get a deal with the suppliers, which is taking time.

Yangden said that the advances have already been paid but the cooperative is yet to receive the materials. “We heard that the cooperative Act will be reviewed and once this is done we will bring in more members who are interested.”

Until the new packaging resources arrive, she said that the cooperative has to adjust with normal plastic packaging with stickers attached. “Within the country, there is more demand but outside I don’t think people know about the product.”

She added that she was nominated for a trade fair of sort in Kolkata, where she could only sell more than 20 packets of the 533 she carried along. “Tea varieties from Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim are more popular and our organic tag is not selling because we have only one variety to sell.”

The chairperson said that familiarisation tour of farmers in tea cultivating states like Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim would be relevant. “We would learn how to manufacture different varieties of tea.”

The green tea cultivated in Samcholing is different because the harvesting season starts from April and ends in September. In the winter months, suja tea leaves are produced fetching around Nu 30 a packet.

Villagers cultivating tea say that they weed the bed about four times a year. With no manpower in the village, Rinchen said she has to pay Nu 400 a day per worker.

While the government has built a processing and packaging unit, the chairperson said that there is only one roaster and one roller, which is inadequate. “Should we get an additional unit of each we will be able to supply more.”

This article first appeared on Kuensel by Tshering Dorji | Trongsa

Related Posts

Employment opportunities amid crisis - Tour guides opts farming

A tour guide could earn a minimum of Nu 30,000 per month during the peak tourist season in Bhutan. The income made was...

May 19, 2020 19:53

Covid-19 response must address gender-based violence, other...

“The social and economic stress that Covid-19 pandemic brings upon households places women and girls in vulnerable...

May 12, 2020 16:46

Bhutanese conservationist’s Phuntsho Thinley mission to save...

A wildlife biologist from Bhutan has won a prestigious Whitley Award for his lifelong work to preserve the rare alpine...

May 04, 2020 11:26

Nu 15.5M spent on testing people for Covid-19 in Bhutan

So far 9,964 people tested for novel coronavirus and it continues .

May 01, 2020 07:54

The Test of Loyalty & Commitment Among Bhutanese Employers in...

Amid the crisis we recognized few Bhutanese Tour Operators with generous and compassion souls because COVID-19 will...

Apr 03, 2020 14:33

Daughter Of U.S Covid-19 Patient Thanked Bhutan For Its Great...

The 76 year old American tourist left Bhutan for the US on March 13 for further medical treatment.

Mar 16, 2020 23:28

Latest

News

Employment opportunities amid crisis - Tour guides opts farming

A tour guide could earn a minimum of Nu 30,000 per month during the peak tourist season in Bhutan. The income made was sufficient to support...

May 19, 2020 19:53

Covid-19 response must address gender-based violence, other rights of women and girls

“The social and economic stress that Covid-19 pandemic brings upon households places women and girls in vulnerable positions, burdening them...

May 12, 2020 16:46

Features

Story of Final Year College Student Who Joined college after reopening of eduction institution amid outbreak of COVID 19

Sonam Dorji a final year student shares this thought on his first day of college amid pandemic.

Jul 04, 2020 14:03

Significant pilgrimage sites of Guru Rinpochoe in Bhutan

Discover sacred pilgrim sites of Guru Rinpochoe in Bhutan and the reasons why every buddhist must travel to these most venerated places of...

Jul 01, 2020 11:28

Sports

Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18

Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08

Business

Once the booming Handicraft Shops in Paro Dying- Paro Today

Paro town looks so different in its history as tourist destination in Bhutan.

Jun 24, 2020 16:58

Celebrating Bhutan’s Entrepreneurs: Namkhar Gyaltshen Of Transcend Artisan

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 06, 2020 11:48

Travel

Reasons why one should visit Druk Wangditse Lhakhang

The temple is reconstructed to its glory and is dedicated to his majesty the king of Bhutan.

Jul 08, 2020 14:43

You cannot travel to Bhutan without tour guides - Featuring Mr Tobgay, experienced senior guide from Druk Asia.

In this series, Dailybhutan speaks to licensed tour guide Mr Tobgay who is one of the most senior and experienced tour guides working for...

Jun 21, 2020 21:07

Lifestyle

Food on Wheels- First of its kind in Bhutan

The World's Largest Fast Food Restaurant Chains doesn't exist in Bhutan.

Mar 04, 2020 09:39

Amazing Stories from the Eastern Part of Bhutan

You can't say you have visited the eastern part of Bhutan unless you have experienced the following bizarre things.

Mar 02, 2020 19:02

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!