May 12-13, Thimphu: Twenty Dzongkhag Agriculture Officers and other relevant stakeholders attended two days workshop on ‘Vegetable commercialisation’ which was organised by the Horticulture Division.
The workshop focused on the government policies and strategies with regard to commercial vegetable production, reviewed the vegetable program and activities carried out in the past three years, strategised future program and activities and discussed related issues.
The Hon’ble Agriculture Lyonpo, Yeshey Dorji graced the opening and briefed the participants on the importance of agriculture commercialisation for food self sufficiency. Lyonpo also talked on the Ministry’s priority areas for development in the 11th FYP.
The growth of unemployment rate, rural-urban migration, food security, impact of climate change, burgeoning inflation rate and the birth of rupee crisis are the most threatening challenges in our economy. From the penniless farmers in the remotest village to the wealthy contractors of construction industry of Bhutan, the rupee crisis had really trampled the growth of their livelihood. To all these vital concerns, the Ministry had besieged to overcome exploring the commercial production of locally available vegetables which began in 2012 to increase domestic requirements and enhance export. Over the three years, significant achievements have been made in monetary value of vegetable export from Nu. 16 Million in 2011 to Nu. 86.8 Million in 2014.
In all geogs and chiwogs, the Ministry is planning the agro-ecological zonation to zone different area for year round commercial vegetable production and ensure regular supply of vegetables in the country. This will help to reduce dependence on imported vegetables focusing more on commercial production. The trend in subsidy on inputs like free supply of seeds, irrigation facilities and cost-sharing scheme for protected cultivation technologies (greenhouses) will be continued for few years and then will be withdrawn in phase wise manner. The introduction of suitable variety for different agro-ecological zones, identification of off-season production technologies will be also initiated.
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