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  • Dog Population Management Campaign launched in Thimphu

    25 March, Thimphu: The dog population management campaign was launched in Thimphu today to ensure welfare of the dog population and reduce the numbers of free-roaming dogs and the risk of dog bites. The campaign through catch, neuter, vaccinate and release protocol will also promote responsible dog adoption and ownership through animal birth control and community engagement as well as manage feral dogs.

    According to the press release from the Department of Livestock, the campaign is expected to reduce free-roaming dog population through 95% sterilization coverage in public places. It will also aim to reverse the ratio of owned and unowned dogs from existing 30:70 to 70:30 through adoption and achieve 100% registration and sterilization of owned dogs. It will further help the country to achieve zero dog-mediated human rabies by 2030.

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  • Virtual Training on Human Wildlife Conflict Hotspot Mapping

    16-18 March: Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a major cross-cutting issue that especially affects the rural poor in Bhutan. While HWC is recognized as an issue, the current scenario is that we are not able to understand the geographical pattern of its spread and severity of the incidences. In order to identify the areas in the country that are at high risk of HWC, understand the mechanisms of interaction, analyse possible drivers, and prioritize conservation efforts, three days virtual training on Human-wildlife conflict hotspot mapping was coordinated by Nature Conservation Division (NCD) with technical support and resource persons from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) through Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation Development Initiative (KLCDI). The training was attended by 60 participants from protected areas, divisional forest offices, and research institutes under the Department of Forests and Park Services (DoFPS) and was supported by Bhutan for Life project.

    The opening of the training was graced by the Director of DoFPS, Lobzang Dorji wherein he expressed the gratitude of the Royal Government of Bhutan to ICIMOD for their continued support. He urged the training participants to grasp the best from the learning though virtually and emphasized the need of field offices to identify HWC hotspot areas in their respective jurisdictions and implement practicable and innovative solutions to mitigate the issue.

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  • Farmers learn business literacy to ensure better farm management

    Wangdue: Many Bhutanese are into farming for their livelihoods but most of them are not aware of the business literacy to make their venture a success. To enhance the farmers’ commercial knowledge, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests have introduced a simulation training on Farmers Business Game (FBG). Nineteen farmers (15 female and 4 male) from Nahi gewog attended the training from 15-17 March.

    FBG designed by Sparkassenstiftung has become an international brand for innovative interactive learning experience since 1990. It is a board-based business game and a highly interactive training for smallholder and emerging farmers, and agricultural entrepreneurs who want to improve their skills for a successful and sustainable farm management.

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  • DoA launches Agromet Decision Support System of Bhutan

    Weather and climate information of different lead times need to be translated to make informed decisions and for better management of resources and risks. For instance, farmers in a community will be in better position to avert postharvest loses if they are informed on the rainfall possibility during paddy harvest. Similarly, advisories on crop management practices using agro-climatic resources will go a long way in enhancing food and nutritional security. Bhutanese farming system is predominantly rain-fed and is highly sensitive to climate variability and extreme weather events triggered by climate change. Changing rainfall patterns and climate related hazards pose high risks to the farming communities. Farmers frequently experience crop losses due to droughts, windstorms, hailstorms, disease outbreaks and erratic monsoon. Such crop losses to these elements could be adapted and mitigated through effective agro-meteorology services.

    In pursuit of adopting more climate smart technologies and in transforming Bhutanese farming system, the Department of Agriculture (DoA) launched the Agromet Decision Support System (ADSS) on 16 March 2021. The event was graced by the Director of the Department, Kinlay Tshering. The decision support system was developed by the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard System (RIMES and funding support through the Hydromet Services and Disaster Resilience Regional Project (HSDRRP) of the World Bank.

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  • 4th Agriculture Research Coordination Meeting

    16-19 March, Punakha: Agriculture officials are attending the 4th Agriculture Research Coordination Meeting (ARCM) in Punakha. Stipulated in the Agriculture Research Strategy, the ARCM is an important forum of the Department of Agriculture to plan, review and endorse annual research activities proposed by the Agriculture Research and Development Centres and Central Programs of the department. Emerging issues in the agriculture sector and key research priorities will also be deliberated besides being informed on key research findings.

    The Director, Department of Agriculture, Kinlay Tshering in her opening remarks stressed the importance of coming together towards a common goal of enhancing food and nutritional security for the country. Further, she reiterated the significance of proper planning to achieve vegetable self-sufficiency as well as the importance of innovation as the core basis for planning agriculture development in order to attract youths and transform agriculture as a prospective farming enterprise. Citing hydroponics as an example, she stressed on different innovations that are the need of the hour, and to pursue and take our development course beyond the usual treaded “business as usual track.”

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