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 Bhutan Times.

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



Bhutan Ranks 134th Out Of 189 Countries On The Human Development Index

Bhutan has climbed a step up from its 135th rank in 2016, according to the Human Development Indices and Indicators.

Sep 19, 2018 16:25

National Assembly Election 2018: Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa And Druk Phuensum Thosgpa Through To General Round

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa secured 92,722 votes and Druk Phuensum Thosgpa secured 90,020 votes.

Sep 15, 2018 21:50


Drukgyel Dzong Which Used To House Sacred Bhutanese Documents Lost to A Fire In 1951, To Be Restored By 2022

The reconstruction works began in April 2016 after the command of His Majesty The King to celebrate the birth of His Royal Highness (HRH)...

Sep 17, 2018 15:42

11 Year Old Author Revives Forgotten Snowball Culture Of ‘Khakey’ In Bhutan

Khakey is a custom that originated in Western Bhutan and was popular a few generations ago.

Sep 13, 2018 19:27


No Medals Won But Bhutan Was Recognised For Its Concept Of Happiness By Various News Outlets At The 18th Asian Games

Stephen Wade said that in the Olympics results, there is a direct correlation between how much money a country spends and how many medals...

Sep 20, 2018 17:10

Bhutanese Female Athlete Aces In Athletics And Boxing While Juggling Studies

Tandin was selected to compete at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia last month.

Sep 09, 2018 17:24


Cultivation Of Avocado Looks Set To Take Off In Tsirang, Bhutan

A few farmers have already started selling avocados in the Sunday vegetable market for about Nu 250-350 a kilogram.

Sep 18, 2018 15:38

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...

Sep 14, 2018 17:52


Handicrafts Shops Thrives In Paro Selling Bhutanese Textile, Paintings, Bamboo Products And More

With businesses picking up fast as a result of the tourism boom, the handicraft shops in Paro have even formed a committee with a...

Sep 16, 2018 14:56

Be Awe-Inspired By The ‘Dance Of The Terrifying Gods’ And More At The Thimphu Tshechu Which Starts On 19 Sept

Held from 19 to 21 Sept 2018, the annual Thimphu Tshechu (festival) is a vibrant visual feast for both locals and foreigners.

Sep 12, 2018 20:45


Bhutan’s Legend - Pemi Tshewang Tashi Is Now Successfully Made Into A Comic And Animation Film

It is a tale of how Pemi Tshewang Tashi, a warrior in his time, gave up his personal life as he dutifully carried out his lord’s order of...

Sep 21, 2018 17:44

Miniature Bhutan Creates Amazing Artworks Out Of Pencil Lead And Rice Grains

Miniature Bhutan carves on the lead of pencil tips to make traditional miniature sculptures such as the Buddha, traditional bridges, swords...

Sep 10, 2018 12:44

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!