The Department of Agriculture is one of the oldest Government Departments in the country. It was established with the commencement of first five-year plan in 1961. Early activities focused mainly on agriculture and establishment of research stations at Yusipang and Samtenling. During 1990’s and 2000’s, the Department of Agriculture has undergone numerous institutional reorganizations. The name of the institutes and mandates therefore never remained consistent. However over the period of time the human resource and institutional capacity of the Department has been greatly strengthened.
The Department of Agriculture has three divisions namely Agriculture Production Division (APD), Agriculture Research and Extension Division (ARED) and Agriculture Engineering Division(AED) under the current organizational set up. The Department is further supported by four Agriculture Research and Development Centres and six support service oriented Central Programs stationed across the country. These wings of the department provide technical backstopping to the Dzongkhag Agriculture Section and the Gewog Extension Officers who are the engine to our extension services.
Dasho PemaWangchuk was the first national Director of the Department. He served the Department from 1974-1986. Ever since 8 Directors headed the department. Ms. Kinlay Tshering is the current Director of the Department.
A self-reliant, productive, diverse, resilient and sustainable agriculture food system
Achieve food and nutrition security, agricultural transformation through innovative and sustainable technologies, diversified and competitive economic/production options, inclusive and sustainable policies and programs.
- Ensure attainment of food self sufficiency
- Generate and promote appropriate agriculture technologies
- Develop sustainable irrigation and water management system
- Promote income generation, employment opportunities and enterprise development
- Promote sustainable utilization of agriculture land
- Promote farm mechanization and labour saving technologies
- Promote sustainable and climate resilient agriculture development
- Establish commodity value chains
- Develop and promote effective measures to protect crops from wild life damage
- Delivery of essential agriculture inputs and services (farm infrastructure, technical, advisory and administrative)
- Provide support services on soil, plant protection, post-harvest and other agricultural services
- Liaise with national and international institutions for program coordination
Functions of Division
Agriculture Production Division
- Conduct thematic and strategic studies to identify critical issues affecting agriculture production and marketing.
- Lead the development of project proposals or concept notes on production for submission to the Ministry and potential donor agencies for possible funding.
- Issue strategic procedural guidelines to facilitate planning and mainstreaming into local government plans and programs of the Dzongkhags, ARDCs and central programs.
- Facilitate and lead “Five Year” commodity development plans and programs for agriculture production and marketing.
- Facilitate and consolidate annual Agriculture production support plan and budget in consultation with the Dzongkhags, ARDCs and Central Programs for submission to the Ministry.
- Lead annual work plan and budget negotiation with the MoAF and MoF.
- Prioritize and formulate enterprise development plans for both horticulture and field crops.
- Support and facilitate human resource development (HRD) activities on arable agriculture and horticulture.
- Coordinate and facilitate annual review and planning workshops with the ARDCs and the central programs.
- Review and align 5-year plans and programs of the central programs with that of the Division’s plans and programs.
- Collaborate and coordinate with relevant agencies both within and outside the Ministry for enhancing agriculture production and marketing.
- Coordinate identification of gaps, constraints and issues related to agriculture production and accordingly recommend solutions.
- Lead the coordination of the implementation of annual and Five year plans and programs of the division and the central programs
- Facilitate implementation of projects on food security and arable agriculture and horticulture development.
- Collaborate with relevant agencies under the Department and the Ministry in implementing joint or collaborative programs and activities.
- Lead quarterly and annual monitoring of the implementation of agreed work plan and monitoring schedule.
- Lead quarterly progress report compilation, submission and presentation to the Ministry/RGoB/donor agencies.
- Lead mid-term review of the FYP for necessary revision and course correction.
- Compile and publish annual Report on Agriculture production.
- Develop linkages and liaise with relevant agencies including local and international organizations.
Agriculture Engineering Division
- Provide policy guidelines on agriculture infrastructure development;
- National planning and programming of agriculture infrastructure development;
- Review and align 5-year plans and strategies of Central Programs including Agriculture Research & Development Centres (ARDCs) with the Division’s plans and programs;
- Setting up technical standards and specifications for farm road, irrigation and other civil constructions;
- Provide technical assistance in survey, design and estimate of farm road, irrigation and other civil constructions;
- Co-ordinate agriculture infrastructure programs and projects;
- Co-ordinate and implement (drawings, design, estimation, tendering, evaluation, site supervision and contract management) of construction works – mainly irrigation – under central programs and projects;
- Provide relevant trainings in road construction, irrigation and civil construction to dzongkhag engineers;
- Implementation of critical river bank protection works to safeguard agricultural lands;
- Develop linkages and liaise with relevant agencies including local and/or international organizations in pursuit of agriculture infrastructure development.
- Review and final endorsement of technical proposals from Central Programs including ARDCs;
- Develop project proposals on agriculture infrastructure development for technical and financial assistance. Facilitate mobilization of funds from potential sources/ donors;
- Review and improve Dzongkhag 5-year plans and strategies (MOAF should pursue this with the GNHC) to align their plans with the MOAF goals and objectives;
- Provide technical support to Department of Disaster Management in the field of agricultural infrastructures;
- Prepare progress reports, five-year and annual work-plan and budget of the Division;
- Conduct periodic monitoring of farm road, irrigation and other civil constructions
- Coordinate deployment of road construction machinery to dzongkhags through the Central Machinery Unit (CMU).
Agriculture Research & Extension Division
- Co-ordinate and facilitate implementation of Research Programs to generate technologies for agriculture development.
- Co-ordinate and facilitate technology dissemination for agriculture development.
- Lead the formulation and review of research and extension policies and strategies.
- Lead the development of Five Year and Annual Plans and guide its implementation.
- Lead the Monitoring, Evaluation and Supervision of the implementation of the planned Research and Extension Programs.
- The division will be the secretariat for Bhutanese Journal Agriculture Editorial Board, Varietal Releasing Committee, National Seed Board, Food Fortification Program and Agro-met Advisory Services.
- Lead, co-ordinate and guide the development of Commodity Research Plans and Programs (Annual and FYP).
- Lead, Co-ordinate and guide the development of Commodity Research Strategies (Short/Long Term).
- Co-ordinate National, Regional and International Collaboration with Research Institutes.
- Develop Project proposals to mobilize fund to facilitate Research and Extension Programs.
- Coordinate the Review and Formulate Agriculture Extension policy, framework and guidelines to support Agriculture Extension.
- Coordinate Capacity Building for research and extension staffs.
- Lead and co-ordinate the publication of peer reviewed Agricultural Journals (National, regional and International).
- Manage and share Knowledge and Information on research and extension.
- Lead Monitoring, Evaluation and Supervision of the implementation of Annual Research Work Plan.
- Co-ordinate Annual Research and Extension review and planning exercise.
- Collect and Compile Progress Reports on Agriculture Research Programs for submission to the Ministry.
- Compile and manage the administrative data.