JICA partnership project to strengthen organic farming

representatives-during-the-signing-of-japan-international-cooperation-agency-jica-partnership-project27th October, Thimphu: The Department of Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Royal Government of Bhutan signed a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Partnership Project on “Creation of Active Local Communities through the Introduction of Organic Agriculture with the System of Circulating Natural Materials in Bhutan”.

Mr. Mitsukuni Inaba, Director for NoP-Civil Institute of Organic Rice Cultivation, Mr. Koa Tasaka, Board Member of Asian Rural Institute and Mr. Koji Yamada, Chief Representative of Japan International Corporation Agency Bhutan office represented JICA during the signing while Mr. Ganesh B. Chettri, Offtg. DG of Department of Agriculture, MoAF and Mr. Rinchen Wangdi, Chief of Development Corporation Division GNHC represented Bhutan.

The primary objective of the project is to conduct a research trial to find solutions to manage weeds in rice cultivation without the use of synthetic herbicides in Bhutan. Solutions obtained through the project will be very crucial for organic agriculture sector development in the country and strengthen the long term organic farming vision of the country. Other secondary objectives are to produce organic fertilizers from different agricultural products such as defatted soya bean seeds and mustard cakes. Some agricultural value additions such as making of tofu, oil extraction from soya bean and mustard/rapeseed will also be explored. Different crop rotations including green manuring with legumes will be tried to control the weeds and to enhance rice productivity. Japanese experts will assist and guide Bhutanese researchers to conduct the trial.

The project will be for 3 years, starting from October 2016 and ending in October, 2019. The key implementers will be the Agriculture Research Centers at Bajo and Yusipang with close collaboration from the National Organic Programme, National Plant Protection Centre and National Soil Service Centre. Trial locations will be prioritized on high, mid and low altitudes in the country which have different weed problems in rice.

-Submitted by: Tandin Dorji, ICS

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