4 April 2014, Bumthang:. The new Dzongkhag office for the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) at Bumthang was inaugurated on 4 April, 2014 by His Excellency Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, Minister for Ministry of Agriculture and Forests with the aim of ensuring and strengthening effective food safety and bio-security system in Bhutan.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Bumthang Dasho Dzongdag, Dasho Drangpon, Dzongkhag Officials, and Officer In charge from the Royal Bhutan Police along with the senior officials from the ministry. The two-storeyed office was constructed with a budget of Nu. 5.4 million from the Royal Government of Bhutan as a symbol of integrated approach to bio-security to safeguard its people, farming system and environment from possible harmful effects of GMOs and their products. Thus, the inaugural address of Hon’ble Lyonpo emphasised “it is in these facilities that cooperation in preventing the spread of transboundary diseases of plants and animals, and invasive alien species which comes as a package of international trade and traffic takes place”. He also highlighted that the changing global environment demands greater emphasis on managing the whole biosecurity continuum both within the country and across the border.
The Sanam Lyonpo in his concluding remarks mentioned that the impact of such simple acts of inspecting food labels, disinfecting vehicles and certification of apples seem boundless in terms of health, peace, security and economy of the nation. Hence, BAFRA was regarded as one of the “National defense bodies to safeguard the sovereignty of the nation” and also as an agent to promote Gross National Happiness. Lastly His Excellency reminded that all should unite and pledge to the noble visions and aspirations of our benevolent Monarchs to make Bhutan a modern, forward looking, progressive and peaceful nation in the world.
– Reported and photos by Tashi Yangzom, ICS
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