31 August, Thimphu: The members of the Joint Coordinating Committee of Strengthening Farm Mechanization Project Phase-II (SFaMP-II) discussed on the proposal to include Farm Machinery Corporation Limited (FMCL) as a counterpart organisation and also to extend the project period by another year during the 2nd Joint Coordinating Committee Meeting of SFaMP-II.
Due to the bifurcation of Agriculture Machinery Centre (AMC) to FMCL, the objective of improved (hiring) service provision model of farm machinery which was initially mandated with AMC is now undertaken by FMCL. And since this objective is also an output for the project SFaMP-II, the project committee proposed to include FMCL as a counterpart organisation.
The three year project SFaMP-II (2014-2017) aims at making farmers have better access to farm machinery through quality and security standardization as well as through enhancing AMC’s capacity of research and development for farm mechanization.
Hon’ble Secretary Dasho Rinzin Dorji, MoAF who chaired the meeting shared that agriculture is the prime industry of Bhutan. 60% of the national population relies on agriculture for their living. On the other hand, farming productivity is generally low, mainly due to steep geographic terrain and labour shortage. He also stressed on the sustainability of farm machines.
The Royal Government of Bhutan promoted farm mechanization in order to tackle farming issues and AMC has been facilitating the supply of farm machinery as well as back-up service delivery after sales, however, those activities heavily dependent on power tillers supported by “the Japanese Grant Assistance for the Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers” (2KR). Under such situation, the Royal Government of Bhutan in collaboration with Japan international Cooperation Agency implemented Strengthening Farm Mechanization Project-I. The project SFaMP-II is a continuation of the technical cooperation project Strengthening of Farm Mechanization Program Phase I implemented during the 10th plan period from June 2008-2011.This project contributed towards promotion of the farm mechanization in the country at the Gewog level by improving the network and back-up services.
Mr. Yamada, Chief Representative, JICA Bhutan Office expressed his satisfaction over the project progress and informed to look into how to further strengthen the Japan-Bhutan relationship.
The joint committee meeting was attended by officials from JICA, Gross National Happiness Commission, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.
-Reported by Tandin Dorji
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