February 4, Thimphu: Honble Lyonpo Damcho Dorji, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and His Excellency Kenji Hiramatsu; Ambassador of Japan to Bhutan launched the Integrated Horticulture Promotion Project (IHHP) at Research and Development Center Bajo to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Bhutan and Japan.
The launching of IHPP project signified the continued commitment of the Japanese Government to support the development of agriculture in Bhutan and for further deepening of the Bhutan-Japan cooperation.
Hon’ble Lyonpo expressed his high expectations from the project in improving the livelihood of the farming community. He stated ‘the promotion of horticulture for income generation is a high priority of the government in the current five year plan’. He also stated that the ‘Commercial farming or market-oriented production is possible with increased farmer knowledge and awareness in production techniques, availability of quality seeds, market opportunities, competitive advantage in terms of cost effectiveness and economies of scale, farm mechanisation and accessibility to markets.’
The project will cover Wangdue, Punakha, Tsirang and Dagana. It will work towards developing appropriate technologies for promoting horticulture farming, strengthening the fruits/vegetable seeds/seedling production system at RDC- Bajo, NSC-Bajo, private nurseries and strengthen training and extension system for promoting horticulture farming.
‘I am very much sure that with the dedication and hard work of the project team it will prove to be very productive and contribute to the economic well-being of the farmers of the four dzongkhags.’ said JICA’s chief representative to Bhutan Ms. Yumiko Asakuma.
Similarly His Excellency Kenji Hiramatsu stated ‘I hope the continuous support in agriculture sector from Japan to Bhutan will contribute enormously in socio-economic development and preservation of nature and culture tradition in this country’. He said ‘with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relation, this year will be the year for further cooperation, development and good will between the two countries’.
Mr. Nim Dorji, Director General of Department of Agriculture while highlighting the past assistance from the Government of Japan said ‘Bhutan has tremendously benefitted from the Japanese assistance in the area of farm mechanisation, farm road construction, irrigation and horticulture development’.
Hon’ble Lyonpo also highlighted that the Bhutan-Japan cooperation through technical collaboration and financial assistance has greatly helped in transformation of agriculture in Bhutan from a mere subsistence farming to a more commercialised culture.
The event also arranged a photo exhibition to showcase the achievements of Bhutan-Japan collaboration in the field of agriculture development focusing on horticulture, farm mechanisation, farm road construction and irrigation. The photos depicted the success stories and milestone achieved in the long history of the cooperation between the two countries in the agriculture sector.
Reported by Tashi Yangzom, ICS
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