Bhutan will soon achieve its vision of food self sufficiency. The country today has enough food items that include maize and other cereals. However, Bhutan has shortage of rice produced within the country.
The increase in both rice and maize production were achieved because of the new initiative such as spring rice cultivation, spring maize cultivation, introduction of hybrid seeds, and improvement in the irrigation facilities, electric fencing and also the mechanization of farm.
During the signing of annual performance agreement (APA) with Prime Minister for the fiscal year 2017-2018 last Friday, minister for agriculture and forest, Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said that for the last four years, since of signing of first APA, the ministry has been working very hard to achieve the set target.
“We are taking the responsibilities of improving the livelihood of rural population and also for the economic development of our country.”
Lyonpo added that while working towards achieving food self sufficiency in the country, the ministry has been constraint by many factors such as human-wildlife conflict, access to market and climate change.
Despite the challenges, Lyonpo said that the annual growth rate of four percent was achieved in 2016-2017 financial year which was a historic moment.
Lyonpo said that Renewable Natural Resources (RNR) sector is also a one of the five most important jewel of the country that has been identified by the government.
The RNR sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) was 16.7 percent, last year, and engages more than 58 percent of our population in various form of farming.
Lyonpo also highlighted the production of last financial year, 2016-2017. During the year, the production for the paddy was 80,197 mt and maize production was 82,487mt.
The ministry had constructed about 1980km of electric fencing in all the dzongkhag during the last financial year, Lyonpo said “We are setting an ambitious target of at least having an electric fencing in every chiwog during the financial year 2017-2018.
Lyonpo said that for the last year of 11th FTYP, we feel that the cereals production would be increased furthermore. “I think in the 12th FYP, we hope that the production will drastically increase because the basis for the factor of production are now been provided.”
Meanwhile, the ministry had achieved the entire set target except the production of pork. Lyonpo said that the declining of pork production was mainly because of the stigma of the people because not many people are willing to take up piggery.
The target set for the last year of 11th FYP to achieve by the ministry of agriculture and forest, the ministry had set up eight objectives that include increasing the food crops and livestock production for enhancing food security and nutrition.
Next objective was to promote sustainable management and conservation of natural resources, to enhance agriculture marketing and increase employment opportunities to increase mean annual rural income.
The objectives also include enhancing national bio-security and bio-safety. The main objectives of the ministry were to ensure full utilization of budget, to enable effective and efficient ICT service delivery and to implement national integrity and anti-corruption strategy.
Unlike the previous years, for the financial year 2017-2018, the signing was also done by sector heads with secretary in the presence of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Meanwhile, the ministry of agriculture and forest has allocated the budget of Nu.33, 26.814m for the fiscal year 2017-2018.