March 8, 2021

When many urban centers in Bhutan faced a shortage of chilis and other vegetables this January, a youth group in Panbang, the Panbang Youth Cooperative (PYC), sold their first harvest of chili at about Nu. 300 a kilogram to their local community. This is a big difference from the prices in Thimphu which ranged from Nu. 500 to 800 a kilogram during the lockdowns.

During this pandemic, the PYC initiated farming to meet the demand for vegetables in their local community. Panbang Drungkhag played a crucial role in rendering technical support and guidance, encouraging the youth group to focus on the farming sector. The PYC is fully focused on increasing their production to supplement addressing the shortage of vegetables. They are hoping to cater to other parts of Bhutan soon.

The group was started by five young graduates who decided to return to their hometown in Panbang under Zhemgang and become farmers. It was initially known as the Panbang Youth Group and later came to be known as the Panbang Youth Cooperative (PYC) after it was registered under the Bhutan Cooperative Act in 2019. Today, they mainly focus on integrated agro-livestock farming.

In appreciation of their initiative and keen interests in farming, we are happy to partner with the youth cooperative to further their vegetable production. We are hopeful that they will soon cater to other markets in Bhutan.