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’s Internet Addiction Rate Among The Highest In The Southeast Asian Region

According to a study conducted by a team of doctors, at least four out of 10 adolescents are addicted to the internet in Bhutan.

Nov 14, 2018 13:16

11 Things To Know About Bhutan's New Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering

Dr Lotay is the president of the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) party that won 30 of the 47 seats in Bhutan’s third general election held on Oct...

Nov 13, 2018 10:20


Waste Paper Recycling Unit In Bhutan Employs Ex-Drug And Alcohol Addicts

The waste paper recycling unit also manages waste, helps to keep the environment clean and reduces the import of egg trays by 50 percent.

Nov 17, 2018 14:34

Laya Central School Faces Infrastructure Constraints For Its First Batch Of Students In 2019

The current infrastructure that caters to classes up to the eighth grade was built more than two decades ago.

Nov 15, 2018 13:54


Female Archer Dorji Dema Hopes To Inspire More Women To Take Up Archery In Bhutan

Dorji Dema, a mother of three is among the first women in Bhutan to play in an archery tournament.

Nov 05, 2018 08:11

Bhutanese Bagged Gold In Both Men And Women’s Category In The Scenic But Gruelling Laya Run

In a gruelling race where both locals and foreigners participated, Bhutanese won gold medals in both the men and women’s category.

Oct 24, 2018 18:01


According To The World Bank, Bhutan Ranked 81st In Ease Of Doing Business Report 2019

The rankings were determined by sorting the aggregate scores on 10 parameters, each consisting of several indicators.

Nov 05, 2018 15:45

Bhutan’s First Entrepreneurship Festival Held In Thimphu To Foster The Spirit Of Innovation

A book entitled “Entrepreneur Stories” was also launched at the opening of the festival. The stories are expected to encourage young...

Oct 29, 2018 15:48


Discover The Wonders Of The Black-Necked Crane Festival – A Day Devoted To These Graceful Birds In Bhutan

This unique festival will leave a lasting impression on you. With more than a hundred villagers participating, see the fascinating masked...

Nov 09, 2018 21:39

The Theme Of Bhutan’s Jhomolhari Festival 2018 - Living In Harmony With The Ghost of High Mountains

The theme of this year’s festival 'Living in Harmony with the Ghost of High Mountains' is centred on the conservation of the elusive yet...

Nov 02, 2018 16:20


Exploring The Usage Of Minerals In Traditional Bhutanese Medicine

One of the challenges in the usage of minerals as ingredients in traditional medicine is the rarity of minerals.

Nov 16, 2018 15:58

17th Annual National Design and Art Competition Held In Thimphu To Showcase Bhutanese Art

The competition had three categories – gho, kira and embroidery before 2017. Since then, two new categories - traditional painting and...

Nov 13, 2018 17:24

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!