17 June, Thimphu. The President of JICA Mr. Akihiko Tanaka along with Chief Secretary from THE office of JICA President Mr. Yusuhiro Tojo, Deputy Director General of South Asia Department under JICA Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative of JICA Bhutan office Ms. Yumiko Asakuma and Second Secretary from Embassy of Japan Mr. Hedeki Taniguchi paid visit to Minister of Agriculture and Forests Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji and Secretary Dasho Tenzin Dhendup.
Hon’ble MoAF minister and Mr. Akihiko Tanaka president of JICA discussed on the current issues and scenarios of farming in Bhutan. The Hon’ble Lyonpo highlighted that the country was a predominantly agricultural society and the agriculture system primitive because of which farmers were mostly subsistence. Lyonpo also added that with modernisation only few and old people were left behind making agricultural practices difficult. Thus keeping in mind the constraints, Hon’ble Lyonpo expressed his visions to achieve self sufficiency in agriculture. He added “we the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests look forward to commercialisation, especially with regard towards attaining self sufficiency and for quality production.”
His Excellency Mr. Akihiko Tanaka shared lights on the Bhutanese farming scenario saying that it would be very challenging to complete self sufficiency looking at the geographic condition of the country. At the same time, supporting Hon’ble Lyonpo’s vision of quality product, HE Mr. Akihiko Tanaka also suggested the promotion of Horticulture terming it as a ‘necessary and conducive’ thing to promote tourism. In general both the countries shared their interest to work closely and to continue enhancing people to people connection and HE Mr. Akihiko Tanaka stated that they will continue their programs of volunteer work and support to benefit each other.
His Excellency Mr. Akihiko Tanaka on behalf of his people also expressed their thankfulness to His Majesty the King for his visit to Japan after the catastrophic earthquake of 2011. He also added that the visit was encouraging and the people in the affected area felt thankful to Bhutan.
During the four day visit (17-20, June) Mr. Akihiko Tanaka will be granted audience by His Majesty the King, His Majesty the Fourth King, will call on the Prime minister, Opposition leader, Foreign minister, make other site visits and most importantly celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Japanese Cooperation to Bhutan on the 18th of June.
Reported by Tashi Yangzom, ICS
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