In their inaugural addresses, Dasho Dungpas stated that about 70% of our population is dependent on agriculture as their main source of livelihood. Considering its importance, the Royal Government has been making concerted efforts in supporting the sector in all the development plans. Despite many program interventions, the farming communities are constrained by lack of access to quality and reliable farm inputs, poor infrastructure and market access for their farm produce and acute shortage of farm labour.
To address the above issues, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests has come up with a noble approach ‘Farm Shop (Sanam Tshongkhang)’, a semi business venture for greater social cause, which will be established in all the geogs. The vendor-ship for the operations of the Sanam Tshongkhang is currently given to the Food Corporation of Bhutan Ltd. (FCBL).
The Sanam Tshongkhang will function as a Buy Back Guarantee to provide farmers a guaranteed market outlet for their agriculture products, retail farm inputs and farm machinery hiring services and also retail basic food and other essential items.
This is the fifth Sanam Tshongkhang established so far. The first farm shop was launched at Sephu followed by Chumey, Rangjung and Toetsho farm shops. The shops are dedicated to the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.
The Ministry hopes that this Sanam Tshongkhang will be of great help to the rural farming communities accelerating RNR production as well as the marketing of their products.
Other dignitaries present at the function were the officials from Royal Bhutan Army, Gup and staff of Phuntshothang, Pemathang and Norbugang geogs, representatives from Martsala and Samrang Geog Administration with two business community representatives, RNR sector heads from Dzongkhag, Regional Manager from FCBL, Samdrupjongkhar and Nanglam and staff from the Regional Agricultural Marketing and Cooperative Office, Mongar.
By Sonam Norbu, Marketing Specialist, DAMC
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