The Ministry

Vision

Sustainable natural resources for equitable social and economic well being of the Bhutanese people and the nation.

Mission

To ensure sustainable social and economic well-being of the Bhutanese people through adequate access to food and natural resources.

Brief History

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests was established in April 1985 in His Majesty’s Secretariat. Dasho Leki Dorji, Secretary to His Majesty’s Secretariat, was the head of the newly established ministry. The newly established ministry was detached from His Majesty’s Secretariat in 1986 and moved to its present offices. Leki Dorji continued as the Secretary of the ministry.

The Department of Forests (DoF) was established in 1952, way before the start of FYPs. In 1961 the DoF was under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Forest, while Department of Agriculture (DoA) and Department of Animal Husbandry (DoAH) were under the Ministry of Development (MoD). Based on the cadre system introduced by RCSC in early 1980s, the Ministries and Departments were reorganised. As a result the MoA was made responsible for forestry, agriculture, and animal husbandry. The DoF, DoA, and DoAH were placed under the MoA in 1985. The Ministry and the Departments were located at different places: the MoA was located at lower Motithang, DoF near the Swimming Pool, DoA at Kawajangsa, and DoAH near the Trashi Chhodzong.

Beginning early 1990s the MoA embarked on an internal re-structuring. In 1993 planning and policy functions that the Departments used to dispense were consolidated and integrated into the Ministry and a PPD was created.  Similarly, administration and finance functions of the Departments were consolidated and integrated into the Ministry for which AFD was created. These two divisions were mandated to provide services to the Departments related planning, policy, administration and finance. The rationale behind this organizational change was to free up the Departments from such functions in order ensure more time for them to focus on technical matters. Around the same time, inherent interdependence of agriculture, forest, and livestock was conceived as critical factor for sustainable agricultural development. Integrating agriculture, forest and livestock gained focus and significance. This ushered in organizational changes.

Most noticeably, 1993 research and extension services were combined together and the DoA, renamed as Research Extension & Irrigation Division (REID), was made responsible for this. Research and extension services of the DoAH were merged with the REID, while only research service of the DoF was merged with it. Forestry extension service continued with the DoF, which was renamed as the FSD (Forestry Service Division). The agricultural and livestock input supplies and farm mechanization were combined together and merged with the DoAH, which was renamed as the CLSD (Crop & Livestock Service Division).

Also in 1993 NRTI, BFI, FCB and BLC, later renamed as FDCL, formed autonomous agencies under the MoA. In 1999 further reorganization continued and the REID was renamed as the DRDS (Department of Research & Developmental Services), FSD as DOFS (Department of Forestry Services), and CLSD as DALSS (Department of Agriculture & Livestock Support Services).  In the same year additional autonomous agencies were created which included QCRS (Quality Control & Regulatory Service), NBC (National Biodiversity Center), DSC (Druk Seed Corporation), and ICS (Information & Communication Service). In 2003 QCRS was renamed BAFRA and AMS (Agriculture Marketing Service) was created.  The DSLR was taken out of MoHCA and placed under MoA in 2003 and later became independent as the National Land Commission in 2006. In early 2003 DRDS was bifurcated into DoA and CoRE. The DALSS was renamed as DoL (Department of Livestock). In the same year the CoRE was renamed as CoRRB (Council of RNR Research of Bhutan) and FDCL as NRDCL (Natural Resource Developmental Corporation Limited).

The latest restructuring which occurred in 2009 has merged the forestry sector to rename the Ministry as the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) and the Department of Forests as Department of Forest and Park Services (DoFPS). The Agriculture Marketing Service has been upgraded as Department of Agriculture and Marketing Cooperatives (DAMC) and moved the office to lower Motithang. The CoRRB has been restructured as a council taking away all the research centers from CoRRB and put under the respective departments. In 2010 the Druk Seed Corporation has been take up by the Ministry and renamed as National Seed Programme and placed under the Department of Agriculture.