September 22, Thimphu: A Thai delegation team of 12 members led by His Excellency General Chatchai Sarikulya, Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC) of Royal Thai Government met with the Hon’ble Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), Bhutan. Other attendee included Dasho Secretary and heads from the Departments and Agencies.
The meeting highlighted some of the Thailand-Bhutan joint Agriculture Cooperation’s achievements and future areas for collaborations.
During the opening remark, Lyonpo shared on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between two Ministries in 2010 to have an important recognition of the two countries’ affiliation. He added that the MoU have greatly benefitted both countries in developing the fields of agriculture and cooperatives. He also stated the MoAF has gained knowledge through exchange programs, study visits, technical assistance and in terms of germplasm resources from Thailand. He further requested for similar support in these areas.
General Chatchai Sarikulya stated that food security is very important and therefore we need to focus not only to produce enough food or agricultural products. We need to ensure quality products and explore how to use the technology to increase the agricultural yields within country. He also shared that the MoAC has a strong policy to increase competitiveness of farmers and agricultural products. He added that two countries will continue to achieve further achievements and collaborations.
The meeting broadly discussed the development of agriculture including animals, fisheries , plants, irrigation, land and water management, development of farmers groups and cooperatives, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures including food standards and enhancement of cooperation and coordination within the relevant international and regional organisations.
Some of the future areas for collaborations such as technical expert for establishment of landscaped gardens, biotechnology training, capacity building in floriculture landscaping, equipment, processing training, value addition and packaging was shared by the Agriculture Department.
The Department of Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives discussed the capacity development on trade and marketing practices in Thailand. They also discussed on availing the short term trainings and attachment in Thailand for representatives of farmer’s group and cooperatives and its officials.
Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) shared the requirement of capacity development programs for its officials on food borne disease, outbreak investigation and fielding experts to operationlise the existing equipment at National Food Testing Laboratory, Yusipang. BAFRA requested the team if Thailand foods can be labeled in English as Bhutan imports lots of foods from Thailand.
The Thai Delegation was in the country from 22-26 September. During their stay, they visited Chimipang ADTC, Livestock Centre in Serbithang, National Biodiversity Centre and National Post Harvest Centre besides sightseeing to Punakha Dzong, Paro Taktshang among others.
Reported by Tashi Yangzom with photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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