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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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  • Glimpses from Tongchethangkha

    Sixty years old, Sangay Nima in Tongchethangka is preparing the land to set up a low-cost polyhouse with the help of his two school going children. He is one of the progressive farmers under Nahi gewog in Wangdue. Th gewog agriculture centre is promoting the establishment of low-cost polyhouses this year under the Economic Contingency Plan to help them raise nursery.

    Besides paddy, Sangay grows various vegetables including potato, cabbage, sag and onion and peanut in his 1.14 acres of land. He is hopeful that the electric fencing installed last year will help him have a good harvest as he found it effective in keeping the wild boar and deer at bay which otherwise is an issue. He also owns 7 cattle for milk and dairy products.

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  • Integrated fishery and piggery farm to a good start in Pemagatshel

    An educated youth has started an integrated fishery and piggery farm at Yuridrang under Shumer gewog. The farm with an area of 12954m2 is owned by Thinley Thongmey, an educated youth and currently run by Mahindra. The farm presents a good future and will certainly help in achieving food security, particularly for animal source foods not only in Pemagatshel but will also contribute to the national food security targets.

    The farm has 13 fish ponds interspersed with pakchong, banana, and avocado plants to create further greenery.  To improve fish nutrition and cut down the production cost, the fish ponds are integrated with pig farms wherein the waste from the pig farms are fed into the fish ponds. Once in the water phytoplankton develop on the nutrients from pig waste. This in turn becomes feed for the fish.

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  • New Feed Mill at Thangbi, Choekhor

    A medium scale feed mill established at Thangbi, Choekhor in Bumthang was inaugurated by the Honorable Agriculture Secretary on 11 March 2021. The 32 MT capacity feed plant will benefit all dairy farmers and dairy groups of Bumthang. It also has the capacity to supply cattle feeds to other Dzongkhags namely Mongar, Trongsa and Zhemgang.

    The mill is expected to encourage domestic production of raw materials such as maize and soy bean for feed production apart from creating employment for the youths. Nine members or youths of the Chokhor Gonor Gongphel Chithuen Detshen had been trained on feed production by the National Research and Development Centre for Animal Nutrition (NRDCAN), Bumthang.

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  • Facilitating Agro-based SMEs to Implement Food Hygiene and Food Safety Requirements

    9-13 March 2021, Punakha: As part of the EU-Bhutan Trade Support Project, funded by the EU and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC), the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) organized a one-day Awareness Workshop on Food Hygiene and Food Safety, followed by four-day Training Workshop on Codex Hygiene Principles and Requirements from 9 to 13 March 2021 at Khuruthang, Punakha.

    The awareness workshop was attended by top management or top management representatives of agro-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for selected value chain products such as ginger and turmeric, mushrooms and Yak dairy. Officials from the ITC head quarters in Geneva, WFP Country office, the National Dairy Research and Development Centre under the Department of Livestock, National Post Harvest Centre under the Department of Agriculture, Project Management Unit of the EU-Bhutan Trade Support Project, BAFRA field offices and the head office also participated in the workshop. The Workshop sessions were virtually led by Dr. Namrata Wakhaloo, ITC Food Safety Expert and resource person. The opening session was graced by the Director General of BAFRA.

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