March 12-14: A four member delegation led by Mr. Seung Oh Yoo, Director, Technology Service Division, National Institute of Crop Science (NICS) from the Republic of Korea visited Bhutan.
During the visit, they discussed and monitored the progress of Agriculture Technology and Information Network (ATIN) and Seed Extension Projects which is funded by the Asian Food & Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (AFACI). They visited the National Seed Centre in Paro and one of its project demonstration site for wheat in Bajo. They also met with the officials at the Information Communication & Technology Division (ICTD).
March 13-17, Paro: A five-day in-service training on soil and land management is underway for 20 extension agents, ten each from Thimphu and Paro at Lamgong. It is being conducted by the National Soil Services Centre (NSSC), Semtokha.
The training will focus on all aspects of soil and land management practices including soil characterisation, land evaluation, soil sampling, land and soil fertility management. Through the training, NSSC aims to educate and train extension staffs in all aspects of soil and land management who then can use the knowledge to train farmers for sustainable crop production and combating land degradation.
Going upstream following the ascending road to Kurtoe will greet you with thick jungle and the roaring Kurichhu. After crossing the Lhuentse hospital and making your way through broad leaved forests and fallow agriculture fields, you will be greeted by a smiling talkative lady, Aum Sonam Lhamo. She is one of the progressive agriculturists living in a village called Kelung under Gangzor Gewog in Lhuentse Dzongkhag. She has a poultry and a dairy farm.
Back in 2009 she started her poultry farming with a capacity of 100 birds. Then the monthly generated income was lucrative and she used to earn around Nu. 14,000 as net profit per month. Initially, the Dzongkhag Livestock Sector helped in establishing the poultry farm through the provision of construction materials and inputs supplies such as CGI, wire mesh, feeder and water filter along with other necessary technical assistants.
12 March, Gelephu: The ground breaking ceremony for the Regional Centre for Tiger and Cats Research was conducted on 12 March 2017 at Gelephu under Sarpang Dzongkhag. The Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture and Forests, Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, graced the Salang Tendrel. The venerable Lam Neten of Gelephu Rabdey, Dasho Dzongdag of Sarpang Dzongkhag, Dasho Drungpa and regional sector heads also attended the Salang Tendrel.
Bhutan with more than 70% forest cover and with more than 50% under protected areas in the form of National Parks and Biological Corridors offers the best hope for the conservation of many endangered wildlife like tigers and snow leopard. The Hon’ble Lyonpo said “Bhutan with almost 4% of the worlds tiger population, establishing a Centre that conducts research to provide critical information on tigers and cats conservation is very befitting and timely. This Centre will not only cater to the needs of Bhutan, but also to the other tiger range countries in Asia”.