AFACI Program Workshop on Horticulture held

July 4-6, Thimphu: A three-day workshop on ‘Transferring technology on Horticulture’ was attended by participants from 14 member countries to share the information on post-harvest and good agriculture practices in horticulture.

The results from the workshop will strengthen support from Asian Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (AFACI) in the safe production of horticulture crops and post-harvest technologies applicable in Asia.

The workshop was organised by AFACI, Rural Development Administration (RDA), Korea and Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan. Bhutan will host the next general assembly in 2021.

The Hon’ble Agriculture Minister, Yeshey Dorji at the workshop opening shared, ‘‘Bhutan endeavours to become 100% organic. However, it will not be without challenges and forfeiting opportunities, but we have enough experiences and lessons that many countries around the world went through. Therefore, cautious and appropriate steps are considered to achieve this ambitious vision of becoming 100% organic,’’ he said.

He added that becoming the first organic nation in the world is possible, not because we are a rich nation but because we have the will power of the government, we have the enabling environment; we have the support of our development partners. “In particular, we have initiated the concept of ‘Organic Model Village’ through the AFACI funding; such an initiative will definitely help in establishing the basis to replicate to other villages, a step closer to becoming an organic nation,” he highlighted.

For post-harvest, 39 types of manuals in each member country were published, distributed with hands on trainings. “As a result, the post-harvest loss of tomatoes was reduced from 24 percent to 15% and increased income from 3% to 20% in various crops,” a press release from AFACI states.

Bhutan has been implementing nine projects through the grant from RDA, Korea. The projects range from sustainable farming technology, building information system for pest management, plant and animal genetic resources, good agriculture practices, seeds and agriculture information technology building. The Ministry has received about Nu. 22 million grant through these projects.

AFACI today has 14 member countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea where Bhutan and Myanmar joined in 2016.

AFACI, an agricultural technology cooperative was established in 2009 by RDA, Korea to promote sustainable green growth and contribute to consistent economic development in Asian countries through technological cooperation in agriculture and food sectors.

Reported by Karma Loday with Photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICTD

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