Thimphu: Bhutan joined the Siem Reap Protocol of Discussions (PoD) on June 13, with the Hon’ble Agriculture Secretary signing the agreement. The PoD is the regional cooperation among Bhutan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka in Seed Sector.
The agreement covers rice based crops such as maize, wheat, vegetables and pulses among others with the possibility to include many more in future. It was initiated by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in 2013 between Bangladesh and Indian in 2013 with rice seeds.
With signing of the agreement, Bhutan can now exchange and import high yielding varieties including inbreed ones with its partners. The agreement also covers the protocol on how the seeds can be shared and other conditions for its members. However, it will not cover movement of genetically modified varieties. It states that any pertaining issues will be addressed through discussion and mutual agreements.
The signing was held in presence of the Hon’ble Agriculture Lyonpo, Yeshey Dorji along with other rice specialist from Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Bhutan.
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