March 15, Chukha: Upon the invitation from the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Hon’ble Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji inaugurated the Kiwi fruit demonstration farm in Wangkha.
The BCCI within its realigned focus for promotion of cottage, small and medium enterprises (CSMEs), has embarked a new initiative called ‘One Dzongkhag Three Products (ODTPs)’ program which underscores the agricultural-based CSMEs promotion. The ODTPs program’s mandate includes the development of niche agricultural products, value addition, market linkages, up-scaling of the product volumes and interconnection of producers and entrepreneurs, among others. The program will also support the government’s move for diversifying productive base within the economy, contributing in export promotion, import substitution and employment generation.
Kiwi fruit cultivation is one of the potential activities identified for Chukha under the ODTPs initiative and it has been considered as one of the first pilot projects to be initiated. BCCI’s MoU partner, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal has supported 200 Kiwi fruit saplings along with a kilogram of seeds for the pilot project besides dispatching a technical officer who assisted in setting up Kiwi fruit demonstration farm in two separate locations in Wangkha and Chasilakha.
Lyonpo in his inauguration address thanked the BCCI for supporting the Ministry through ODTPs and assured full support from the Ministry towards the initiative. The support from the Hon’ble MPs of Bongo-Chapcha and Phuentsholing constituencies in helping other geogs in Chukha undertake the Kiwi plantation was also called for.
On the sidelines of the inauguration, visits to Chapcha and Bjabcho geogs, RNR Centres and public consultation meetings en route to Wangkha were also carried out where in Lyonpo shared the Ministry’s key thrust areas including the construction of electric fencing system to resolve human wildlife conflict, farm mechanisation to ease labour shortage and construction of farm shops to provide people with marketing avenues highlighting that the farm shop in Chumey and Sephu geogs were awaiting inauguration. In addition, Lyonpo opened the floor for discussions on a wide range of issues not confining to the RNR Sector alone.
With the recent visits to Chapcha and Bjabcho geogs, Lyonpo has covered an amazing121 geogs in less than two years after assuming office.
-Sonam Jamtsho, Asst. Planning Officer, PPD with photos by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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