February 15, Thimphu: The Department of Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives (DAMC) under Ministry of Agriculture and Forests with assistance from International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) conducted a high level consultative meeting to discuss and finalise the draft Renewable Natural Resources Marketing policy (RNR MP). The event was graced by Hon’ble Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, Minister for Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.
The Hon’ble Lyonpo in his opening remarks stated ‘the need for RNR Marketing Policy for Bhutan is felt necessary to pave a way for an intelligent and sustainable agriculture or RNR growth.” He added ‘the demand and need for sound marketing policy is evident for our country from the perspective of the majority of our population, over 62% being dependent on it for livelihood and employment.’
He also added ‘our national goal of self reliance and inclusive green socio economic development can only be realised with a sound production and marketing policy.’
The RNR Marketing Policy is aimed to build a competitive and efficient marketing system for RNR produces in the country which will create conducive environment to help promote equal participation and access across the RNR value chain to increase export and substitute imports.
The RNR MP will address legislative and regulative frameworks to minimise market risk. It will also contribute to the growth of entrepreneurial culture in RNR products and agribusinesses.
Dr. Eklabya Sharma, Director Programme operations, ICIMOD said ‘ the RNR marketing policy will promote local culture, economic development and environment sustainability of the region.’
In general, the RNR marketing policy comprises of six strategic objectives which include strengthening of legislative, macroeconomic and trading environment, RNR market infrastructure, RNR marketing information and risk management and enhancing of RNR product value addition, access to marketing finances and RNR commodity marketing.
In the past, the RNR sector had remained production oriented, and the roles and functions of marketing had remained insignificant, therefore the RNR marketing policy will try to gel market-led strategies with public policy to enhance rural livelihoods and poverty alleviation.
Dr. Eklabya Sharma had also highlighted ‘At the level of implementation, we might face challenges in information dissemination, access to technologies, infrastructural development, quality control, branding and equitable benefit along the value chain’.
Also present in the meeting were Dr. Golam Rasul, Theme Leader, Livelihoods, Dr. Tashi Dorji, Livelihood Specialist Conservation and Development from ICIMOD and other dignitaries from RNR, Non RNR Department and Agencies, NGOs, Farmer Groups and Cooperatives and business entities.
Reported by Tashi Yangzom with photos by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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