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Sensitisation workshop on Implementation Modalities for Emergency Surveillance and Response to Avian Influenza A (H7N9) in Bhutan
7-8 January, Phuentsholing: Since the emergence of Avian Influenza A (H7N9) in China, an emergency surveillance of H7N9 was conducted during May-July 2013 in ‘at risk’ neighbouring countries in the South and Southeast Asian regions including Bhutan with financial and technical support from USAID and FAO. While H7N9 infection in poultry has not been detected in Bhutan and other countries during the initial emergency surveillance, it was felt necessary to conduct a coordinated sub-regional surveillance and response to Avian Influenza A (H7N9) in poultry and other animals populations to enable targeted countries to better detect, control and respond to A (H7N9) influenza.
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Corn flakes (tengma) and wine (ara) are the only two products produced for commercial purpose, it is now time that you think beyond this and produce products which yield higher income. Dairy farming is one possibility; the nation needs an addition of 10,000 cows to make the nation milk self sufficient shared HE Lyonpo Yeshi Dorji, Minister for Ministry of Agriculture and Forests during his meeting with the farmers of Dewathang, S/Jongkhar.
Speaking to the farmers, Lyonpo shared that one possible way to improve the current economic situation is by increasing the production of food and agricultural products. Increase in the production means lesser import. Lyonpo also shared that much has been achieved but needs more improvement in the agriculture and livestock sector for mass production of food and agricultural products. He shared that various schemes from the government are available to encourage establishment of mega farms and semi-commercial farms. The government has also plans to develop irrigation facility, food processing units, provide better seeds and farm mechanization.
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Farmers practiced the age old traditional cropping system of maize and paddy which is quite monotonous and unhealthy in terms of soil fertility management. Beside orange business, off-farm activities such as construction works and weaving are the major source of income. The accustomed practices of free cattle in the dry season of winter months are a threat and farmers are reluctant for the cultivation of winter crops. Although, agro ecologically, Budur village is feasible for the initiation of commercial horticulture activities. The village is also recognized as one of the major citrus producing area in the district generating a significant income for their livelihoods.
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Thimphu, 31 December: A consultative meeting between the Department of Livestock (DoL) and Department of Agricultural Marketing Cooperatives (DAMC) was held at the DoL conference hall to discuss on the livestock product marketing. DAMC will be supporting DoL in its 11th Five Year Plan and Stimulus plan for efficient livestock product marketing.
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