Monday, February 10, 2014

Organic Farming (a Dream or a Reality)

Farmers farming in a traditional way (Pic Courtesy: with kind permission from Farmer Sangay)

In the year 2013, the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) announced that Bhutan will become the first country in the world with 100% Organic Farming. Since then, the process of preparing to turn Bhutan into a fully organic country by 2020 is in full swing.

 Bhutan is known as a country that accords the highest priority to environmental conservation, a nation whose constitution requires at least 60% of the area under forest cover for all times to come, a nation that has brought a paradigm shift in development theory by introducing the unique concept of Gross National Happiness, a nation where tradition and culture still plays a vital  role in the daily lives of the people.

beautiful valley of Wangdi

Apart from Tourism and Hydro power, Agriculture contributes 20% of the country’s GDP. Cash crops like gingers, cardamoms, mandarin oranges, apples and potatoes are exported by Bhutanese to earn some revenue. And, 65% of the population is involved in the agricultural sector.

I think it can be possible to achieve 100% organic farming because if we dream of something then it might not be impossible to achieve it.

Sensing the significance of food self sufficiency in the region, the RGOB has invested a lot in the agriculture sector already. The RGOB supports various agricultural activities including providing better quality seedlings, training our farmers and giving various incentives.

 However, it is more importantly centered only in some parts of the country especially in the north. Whereas other parts of the country especially the south from where I belong has been neglected and has seen less developmental activities during the past few decades.

Farmers farming in a traditional way (Pic Courtesy: with kind permission from Farmer Sangay)

 Apparently much of the Bhutanese vegetation is still unpolluted. Since the RGOB has the influence to persuade Bhutanese to become organic farmers our youths should take up agribusinesses as a source of income and self employment.

Talking about farming in our country, even in this modern age, our Bhutanese farmers use out dated and intensive traditional tools for farming. Instead of using modern power tillers and tractors, we depend heavily on the traditional system which is labor intensive. The sloppy mountainous terrain makes it even more inconvenient to practice modern farming system.

Similarly, I have seen a lot of our farmers especially villagers whose yield has been decreasing every year.
And, also noticed not a lot of people work in their farms. They either abandon their land or sell it. Our farmers are becoming simply villagers.

So, if the Royal Government keeps on supporting various measures to take up agriculture as an entrepreneurial activity in the coming few years, the dream to make Bhutan an organic country by 2020 will not be very far away. Moreover, the RGOB will help create employment opportunities for our youths. And, at the same time we can help ourselves in terms of food self sufficiency.
Since, i am not equipped with proper knowledge to address this issues, i leave it best to the concern agencies and people to ponder on.

Thanking you all for taking your time to read!.

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