Lyonpo Dr. Pema Gyamtsho is BhutanвЂ™s first democratically elected Minister of Agriculture and Forests from the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa political party. He is the вЂњDhem NgoвЂќ from Chhoekhor-Tang constituency, Bumthang. His Excellency was appointed as the Minister for Agriculture and Forests in April, 2008.
Born on 15 November, 1961 in Tang, Bumthang, he is married with four daughters and one son.
He started his career in the civil service in 1983 as a Research Officer with the Grassland and Associated Fodder Research Centre, Bumthang. As a Research Officer, he was responsible for starting the first grassland research centre in the country with Swiss assistance. While he served as the Pasture Development Officer for the then Department of Animal Husbandry, his aptitude, sincerity and dedication to his works were revealed when he was nominated and awarded MSc degree in Agriculture Science (Plant Science) at Lincoln University in New Zealand in 1990. Shortly after that in 1996, Dr. Pema was yet again one amongst the few people who received the opportunity to obtain a doctorate (Ph.D) in Natural Sciences from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
Besides the above distinctions, in his distinguished career of 19 years in the civil service, Dr. Pema has contributed enormously to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests in various capacities and as pioneer in many community based development programmes and activities in the country. Amongst many of his achievements, he has been the driving force behind many major policies and institutions related changes in the RNR sector. Besides his MSc and Doctoral Thesis, Dr. Pema has many publications to his name amongst which Sustainable Rural Development, Rebuilding of disaster struck areas, etc has gained regional recognition.
Apart from his normal duties in his career in the Civil Service, he has also held many other official responsibilities. He was the Chairman to the World Food Day Committee, Bhutan. He was also a member of many bodies including the Sustainable Development Board, Industrial Development Board, Urban Development Committee, Forestry Development Corporation Board, Board on Higher Education, Bhutan Trust Fund for Environment, National Biodiversity Board and the South Asia Technical Advisory Committee on Water.
Dr. Pema resigned from service in October 2002 to join the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu wherein he was extensively involved in various community based NRM Projects. In 2006, he left ICIMOD to serve as the Deputy Resident Coordinator for Helvetas/SDC Bhutan, before resigning to participate in the first parliamentary democracy.
An agronomist/development planner by profession, He has 24 working years of experience in rural development, planning, project management and research. He also has a good track record of good leadership having headed various organizations in the RGoB and also in International Organizations. Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests is and feels fortunate to have His Excellency as the Agriculture and Forests Minister. Under his wise and farsighted leadership, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests will be able to fulfill its mandate and achieve its developmental goals set in the 10th Five Year Plan.