17 April, Thimphu: The first project steering committee (PSC) meeting for the Remote Rural communities Development Project (RRCDP) was held under the chairmanship of the Hon’ble Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Dasho Sherub Gyaltshen at the Ministry’s conference hall.
RRCDP, a five years loan project (November 2012-May 2018) is being funded by the World Bank with a total budget of USD 9.52 million. It aims to increase the agriculture productivity and community assets in rural areas by improving access to markets, irrigation, agricultural technologies and community infrastructure.
The PSC meeting highlighted the project progress in the project areas of Samtse, Chukha, Haa, Trongsa, Dagana and Wangdue-phodrang. It also discussed its annual work plan, budget, subproject proposals and issues/challenges.
According to the Project Director, Mr. Kuenga Namgay, the project till date have helped in the citrus greening disease diagnosis, carried out the cane and bamboo plantations including high value timber and supplied cardamom seedlings, protection gears, power chain saws and gator sprayers. The project has also started the rehabilitation works for 12 irrigation channels among others. In addition, the project have conducted various sensitisation workshops, environmental and social management frameworks, screening and procurement training, recruited one environmental and social expert, one social mobiliser etc.
To cover the rural infrastructure, community marketing and productive infrastructure, project management and institutional strengthening components in 2014-2015, the project has approved Nu. 210 million.
Dasho Secretary during the discussion, urged the component managers to revisit some of the activities as certain components that would be useful for the communities were found to be missing. The floor also discussed and felt that the eighteen subproject proposals submitted by the community needs to be further work out for feasibility.
Representatives from the Departs of roads, public accounts and land commission were also present at the meeting along with the officials from the Ministry.
The PSC will meet with the World Bank team on 21 April to share the project updates. The World Bank team will also visit the project areas.
By Tshering Doma with photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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