August 7, Bumthang: His Excellency, the Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu handed over a heavy fleet of earth moving machineries to the Agriculture Lyonpo, Yeshey Dorji. The machineries included 30 excavators, 20 backhoes and other important equipment worth of about Nu. 445 million. This support is largest in the history of Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.
His Excellence informed the gathering that Japan is very serious in supporting Bhutan agriculture development. “Particularly horticulture development, development of vegetable, fruit harvest, irrigation project, road for development of rural areas and mechanisation project” His Excellency added.
Japan is one of the largest development partners for Bhutan and has received numerous assistance in farm machinery, research and development projects for agriculture which has helped improve the livelihood of people and alleviate rural poverty.
The Ministry received a total of 35 excavators, 5 bull dozers, 5 dump trucks, 10 numbers of vibration rollers, 2 trailers, 2 truck cranes and other equipment under first and second phase of the project. With this machineries received over two phases, the Ministry has constructed 2136 km of new farm roads and maintained 1483 km of farm roads in the country as of June 2017.
With the current fleet of machineries, the Ministry aims to construct 457 km of farm roads in this fiscal year alone and comfortably meet the target of the 11th FYP.
The support received will help realise the objectives of rural access program in promoting accessibility, enhancing food security and reducing poverty.
Lyonpo thanked His Excellency, the Royal Family of Japan and Government and people of Japan for the gracious assistance. He also added that the machinery will be a resource that will be used and enjoyed by the rural farmers now and for years to come.
The day was an auspicious and great occasion for the Bhutan-Japan bilateral relationship.
Also present in the event were Mr. Koji Yamada, JICA chief representative and officials from JICA Bhutan and other Japanese business representatives who will support with high level Japanese agriculture technologies.
Reported by Tashi Yangzom with Photos by Choidup Zangpo, ICTD
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