February 11-12, Gelephu: The Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo graced the opening of the two day long RNR Extension Conference 2019 themed “Knowing More From The Grassroots” that was held at Gelephu from 11-12 February 2019 organized and coordinated by Policy and Planning Division (PPD) and Agriculture Research and Development Center (ARDC), Samtenling of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF). The conference was exclusively organized for the Gewog Extension staffs of South-Central region comprising of six Dzongkhags of Bumthang, Trongsa, Zhemgang, Sarpang, Samtse and Tsirang with the objectives to share the national aspirations and expectations from extension personnel, learn field issues and constraints, get field recommendations, and share best practices of different dzongkhags through which the 12 FYP plans and programs are better implemented. A total of 138 Gewog Extension Staffs and representatives from the departments of the MoAF participated in the conference chaired by the Director of the Department of Agriculture. The conference was funded by the European Union RNR Sector Support Program.
In the opening remarks, Lyonpo highlighted on the need for striving hard to attain the food self-sufficiency goal which is not only for meeting the domestic food requirements but also for export of RNR products. For this, it was important for the RNR Sectors to prioritize on three key areas of interventions such as production capacity optimization, post-harvest management and marketing strategy. The concerted efforts of all RNR staffs at all levels to work as a team and through consolidation and sharing of new ideas was important to achieve the goals and objectives of the ministry, and more importantly to help our farming communities earn cash income as is done through initiation of activities like “Foothills Festival” of Sarpang Dzongkhag.
Reiterating on the country’s food self-sufficiency and food security, Lyonpo emphasized on the need for internalizing production and marketing of the food items within the country including employment generation in the 12 FYP by linking RNR products to school feeding program and other institutions like hospitals, Dratshangs and Nunneries. This will enable us to ultimately reduce the burden of food import from overseas given the potentiality and opportunities. There was also the need for generating employments while
To make this happen, he stressed that all of us need to work together as a team led by the trusted leaders and managers at all levels without compromising the technical service delivery while maintaining the highest standards of integrity, ethics and professionalism by taking up one’s roles and responsibilities very seriously and with accountability. He also called on for working selflessly in consultation and collaboration with other relevant ministries and between various agencies within the ministry without working in isolation or by way of individualism. It was also important that irrespective of what status or position level we hold in the ministry, we must coexist as a family member without creating any gap between the supervisors and the subordinates and strive to work for the larger interest of the country. Finally, he wished all the participants to have fruitful discussions and successful outcome of the conference.
-Department of Agriculture
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