Entrepreneurial Spirit at Bhutan Agri-Food Trade Investment Forum

The serene ambiance of Coronation Park in Thimphu was recently enlivened by the bustling activity of about 40 enterprising souls, each showcasing their unique local products. Against the backdrop of sweet melodies and warm smiles, these entrepreneurs, hailing from various districts, converged for the Bhutan Agri-Food Trade Investment Forum (BATIF), a platform aimed at fostering investment opportunities and nurturing burgeoning businesses.

Inaugurated on May 15, BATIF has drawn support from a consortium of entities, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Employment, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the European Union (EU), and the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among others.

Among the throng of hopefuls, Dechen Pelden’s story stands out—a mother of three from Trongsa, she chose the occasion, coinciding with her birthday, to unveil her brainchild: Black Mountain Green Tea. Having honed her skills while working at Samdrupcholing Tea, Pelden now seeks to carve her own path, with a vision to uplift disadvantaged communities in her locale.

Her stall at BATIF showcased an array of tea varieties—Green, Black, and butter tea—garnering considerable attention, with 90 packets of green tea flying off the shelves. Pelden’s determination to empower her community through entrepreneurship is palpable and inspiring.

In a similar vein of innovation, Bidur Rai, once a civil servant at the agriculture ministry, has ventured into the realm of vermicompost production. His transition underscores a growing awareness of the potential in agri-businesses. With limited competitors in this niche market, Rai aims to address the demand for organic fertilizers, producing approximately 15 metric tonnes of vermicompost this year.

However, challenges persist for entrepreneurs like SP Bajgai, a former chemistry teacher turned artisanal soap maker. Bajgai’s oil-based soaps, infused with pear, lemon, and rose essential oils, boast biodegradability and eco-friendliness. Yet, the exorbitant cost of importing essential oils from India poses a significant barrier to local market penetration.

Amidst these hurdles, success stories emerged, such as Mircula beer, a star attraction at Serka Dairy’s stall. Its popularity underscores the diverse array of offerings and the entrepreneurial spirit thriving at BATIF.

As the forum continues to unfold, it serves not only as a marketplace but also as a beacon of hope for aspiring entrepreneurs, showcasing the power of creativity, resilience, and community support in driving economic growth and empowerment.

Related Posts