Government Of Bhutan Injects Nu 1 Billion To Kick-start Organic Flagship Programme
To export a product as an organic, it will be certified only after proper laboratory tests have been conducted.
By Komal Kharka | BBS
The government of Bhutan has allocated Nu 1 billion for its Organic Flagship Programme in the current plan. With this budget, the focus will be on mass commercial organic farming.
Currently, the project is in its initial stage, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) has launched the guidelines and works have begun accordingly.
Earlier on, there were initiatives to introduce organic farming but things did not pan out as expected. The government is now planning to start organic production by 2021.
Aims of starting the Organic Flagship Programme
The flagship program is initiated for socio-economic development through the sustainable production of safe and nutritious foods.
Bhutan's organic dream.
Source: Youtube/Gofar Bhutan
It also aims to increase Bhutan’s revenue and contribute to GDP growth. Moreover, it can create opportunities to engage youth and local farmers in organic farming.
The identification and sourcing for potential lands in different dzongkhags (districts) are also underway for the project.
According to the Agriculture Minister, all the 20 dzongkhags will be equally prioritised as each one has its own unique products to offer.
The organic farming programme will include all the agriculture products native to Bhutan such as cereals, vegetables and fruits.
Convincing local farmers to take up organic farming
The Lyonpo also mentioned some challenges faced, especially with regard to infrastructure and in convincing the farmers to take up organic farming.
“While we will continue to encourage our farmers, we must try to build the capacity, we will try to let the farmers understand why we need to go for organic farming,” said the Agriculture Minister, Yeshey Penjor.
Cordyceps Sinensis are individually handpicked at over 4000 m above sea level from the Himalayan mountains of Bhutan, they are then turned into powder and blended with green Tea.
Source: Bhutan Natural
The government will start introducing organic farming through State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) such as the FMCL and Bhutan Livestock Development Corporation.
These SOEs will start working on organic farming and engage Bhutanese youth through this project.
How the products will be certified as 'organic'
The certification of a purely organic product comes with many formalities and criteria. To export a product as an organic, it will be certified only after proper laboratory tests have been conducted.
For the accreditation, the government has plans in the pipeline to tie up with neighbouring countries.
This article first appeared in BBS and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.