Thimphu, 20 June: In order to ensure a sustainable and adequate access to food and natural resources, the Departments and agencies signed performance agreements (PA) with the Ministry, an important mechanism to ensure accountability and help inculcate a performance based culture at all levels of government. PA includes the key objectives, priorities, actions, success indicators and target for respective offices for the financial year July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015.
The signing ceremony was led by Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, the Minister for Agriculture and Forests (MoAF). Also present were the MoAF Secretary, Dasho Tenzin Dhendup along with the Departmental/Agencies heads and senior officials.
During the signing, Lyonpo said that such initiative will help to deliver better results by focusing and prioritising on what we need to do. He added that it would streamline and institutionalise the annual planning process.
Adding further, Dasho Secretary said that the Ministry has identified six key objectives for 2014-2015 but this does not mean that other activities are not important. Dasho urged all the Heads to strive hard in achieving the goals and targets that have been set in the PA.
As per the PA, the Department of Forest and Park Services have agreed to enhance sustainable management of forest landscapes and biodiversity conservation to improve natural habitats and maintain species persistence; and ensure water security and ecosystem services.
The Department of Livestock will enhance food and nutrition security; promote breed improvement; livestock service delivery and green livestock farming practices to adapt/mitigate to climate change.
The Department of Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives will focus on enhancing employment opportunities, marketing and service delivery infrastructure for RNR products.
The priority for Department of Agriculture includes the enhancement of field and horticultural crops production, improve agriculture infrastructure and promote organic production.
The Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority will strengthen regulatory and quarantine system; and create enabling legal/policy environment for bio-security and food safety.
The National Biodiversity Centre will focus on the ex-situ conservation of biodiversity, on-farm conservation and sustainable utilisation of agro-biodiversity, institutional capacity to promote coordination of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of limited resources among others.
The objectives such as enhancement of farming skills for interested youths and capacity management of farmer’s group will be taken care by the Rural Development Training Centre.
The Council of RNR-Research for Bhutan has agreed to strengthen RNR research and extension service delivery along with farming among school youths as a livelihood option.
Concluding the ceremony, Lyonpo assured to provide all the necessary support from the Ministry as well as from the government in achieving the targets set in PA. He added that PA will be reviewed and update periodically.
The Ministry have previously signed the PA with Hon’ble Prime Minister on 27 March 2014 agreeing to focus on food and nutrition security; forest, sustainable rural livelihood; conservation of plant and animal genetic resources, RNR service delivery among others.
By Tshering Doma, ICS
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