Bhutan announces facing food scarcity and surge in domestic prices

By Pranali Mehta  | Date: 2022-05-28

Bhutan announces facing food scarcity and surge in domestic prices

Bhutan had reportedly imported cereals, mainly wheat and rice, worth $30.35 million from India in 2021. The country relies on imports to cater to the food requirements of the people

Bhutan, a country with a population of almost 800,000 is confronting the effects of the Ukraine-Russia war which led to an increase in global grain and crude oil prices, after its economy started to recover as the restrictions eased after the pandemic.

As per sources, Loknath Sharma, Minister of Economic Affairs, Bhutan, stated that increasing prices of fuel along with worldwide shortage of grain has surged the domestic prices, creating a risk of food scarcity for the population, particularly in rural areas.

Sharma mentioned that the shortage of food products can further ignite inflation. He added that the government was tensed about the effects of restrictions on export levied on grains by many countries.

According to reports, regional industry leaders suggested that the present ban imposed by Indian government on export of wheat have stirred up doubts of further increase in local prices, even though New Delhi has claimed that it will continue exports to weak and neighboring nations.

Sangay Dorji, Secretary General, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Bhutan stated that the increase in the price of food will affect the domestic economy and after fuel inflation, this will be the next big jolt for the country.

Moreover, stringent zero-COVID policy and vaccination of around 90 per cent of the population has affected the economic development of Bhutan, nestled between India and China, comprising of fueling inflation and limiting the inflow of tourists.

As per reports, the $3 billion economy contracted for two years; in fiscal year 2020-2021 by 3.7 per cent ended in July and in the previous year by 2.4 per cent, driving more people into poverty.

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Pranali Mehta

Pranali Mehta

A chemical engineer by qualification, Pranali Mehta has dutifully walked down the slated path and worked in the chemicals industry for a year. Her passion for writing however, pushed her into experimenting with the same as a career. With over three years of experience...

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