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  • Ministry launched three value chain studied books and HR system

    18 October, Thimphu: The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests launched the value chain studied books on potato, apple and honey and the Human Resource Information System (HRIS), both funded by EU-TCP.

    According to a spokesperson, the value chain study for apple was carried out to improve the quantity and quality of apple production and enhance the apple trade. The study highlights the current issues, challenges, recommendations and suggest ways to capitalise the opportunities.

    Apple production in Bhutan is concentrated mostly in western Dzongkhags such as Paro, Thimphu and Haa. Despite being one of the major sources of cash income, apple industry has been facing many challenges due to shrinking land areas for apple, urbanisation, competition and poor quality. As a result, the production and export quantity was seen decreasing from 7,666 MT in 2012 to 6,587 MT in 2016  and 4,314.23 MT in 2013 to 3,789.90 MT in 2016 respectively.

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  • Training for effective participation in Codex Work held

    15-16 October, Paro: A two-day training for National Codex Committee (NCC) members and the officials of National Codex Contact Point (NCCP) of Bhutan was held from 15-16 August 2019 at Tashi Namgay Resort, Paro. The training was organised by the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, with the main objective to enhance participation of Bhutan to the work of Codex through training of officials of Codex (Bhutan) including, NCC members on the functioning and management of Codex work.
    The training methodology comprised of presentations, plenary discussions, and group works on Codex Alimentarius Commission; Codex Procedural Manual; International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) and International Health Regulations; stepwise Codex process for elaboration of standards, Codex work on methods of analysis and sampling, GMO, linkage between International Plant Protection Convention and Codex; and Codex web tools. Further, a pre-test questionnaire was administered to the participants before the commencement of the training to determine background knowledge on Codex activities. Post-test questionnaire was provided at the end of the two-days training to determine knowledge uptake. A comparative analysis of the result of the pre and post-training evaluation revealed significant improvement in the participants’ knowledge and understanding on the subject matters.
    The participants had the opportunity to engage in dialogue about the main elements of a national food control system and identify gaps and challenges for Bhutan’s national food control system. During the welcome remarks, Dr. Chador Wangdi, Offtg. Director General of BAFRA highlighted on the importance of participation in Codex work to raise awareness on the subjects of national interest so that, international Codex standards become suitable and applicable to Bhutan. He also mentioned that, since Codex standards are the bench mark standard for international food trade, it is very important that Bhutan takes preparatory steps to actively engage in the international standard setting process.
    The training is a part of activities of the Codex Trust Fund (CTF) joint project for Bhutan, India and Nepal with the goal to strengthen the function of National Codex Structures through effective engagement of all stakeholders in Codex activities and standard setting process, improved scientific and technical capacity of national experts to contribute to the scientific basis of Codex and promotion of sub-regional cooperation. It is also a part of follow-up activity to the training for Codex (Bhutan) officials on the functioning and management of Codex work at the Codex Contact Point office in India held from 27 to 31 August 2019 in New Delhi, India.
    -BAFRA

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  • Longest livestock serving civil servant superannuates

    Pemagatshel: The livestock fraternity of Pemagatshel hosted a farewell dinner for Mr. Cheku Wangchuk who served at the Department of Livestock for 39 years and six months. He superannuated on October 9. More than the dinner, it was a moment to applauds and appreciate him on the successful completion of his tenure as a civil servant. It was really an emotional moment for the livestock friends who congratulated him for serving the government with full dedication and commitment.

    The Deputy Chief Dzongkhag Livestock Officer congratulated him for being one of the role models who has inspired many livestock friends during his service. On behalf of the livestock fraternity, he wished Mr. Cheku a happy superannuation and post retirement success.

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  • First participatory technical assessment of EPB trial for high altitude rice in Paro

    The Agriculture Research and Development Center (ARDC)-Yusipang in collaboration with National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) and Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector, Paro organised the first participatory technical assessment of evolutionary plant breeding (EPB) trial on high altitude rice at Shari chiwog under Tshento gewog. The assessment was conducted under the guidance of three experts from Bioversity International  in Rome on October 2. Over 20 rice growing farmers from Tshento  and Dopshari gewogs, geog agriculture officer of Tshento, rice researchers from ARDC-Bajo, Samtenling, Yusipang and biodiversity officers  from NBC participated in the event.

    The EPB trials are introduced in Bhutan for the first time through the EPB project which is funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through Bioversity International. Bhutan is one of the partner countries participating in the Global Evolutionary Plan Breeding Project along with Nepal, Jordan, Ethiopia Iran and Uganda. In Bhutan, the EPB project is nationally executed by NBC in collaboration with ARDC-Yusipang, Bajo and Samtenling and agriculture sectors of Paro, Punakha, Dagana, Tsirang and Sarpang.  EPB trials in Bhutan have been initiated on rice and beans. The EPB trials on rice are ongoing at Paro for warm temperate agro-ecology, in Punakha and Tsirang representing the mid altitude rice growing areasand in Sarpang for low altitude rice environment. EPB trials have also been started on climbing and dwarf beans at Tsirang and Dagana. The evolutionary populations for both rice and beans were prepared by mixing most popular traditional and improved varieties collected and contributed by farmers and ARDCs from specific locations.

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