4- 5 March, Wangdue: The nationwide RNR extension conference for the West and West Central regions finally concludes today at College of Natural Resources (CNR), Lobesa. The RNR Extension Conference resumed after about a decade gap since its convention in 2009. The conference is tagged with the main theme of “Knowing more from the Grass Roots”. Since the geog extension officials are the main contact point with the farming community, gleaning for success stories and replicating it in other potential regions seem more pragmatic than reinventing the entire wheel.
During the inaugural ceremony of the two-day conference, the Agriculture Minister in his keynote address reiterated that such gatherings were convened to act as an exchange window for creative ideas and success stories from the fields.The Minister also highlighted that the conference is expected to ensure collective and greater success by avoiding individualism and working in isolation. The Honorable minister also stressed that it is in line with the vision of His Majesty the King on decentralisation of resources and funds at the local government level. Accordingly, the Field colleagues and like-wise, the concerned agencies were instigated to gear towards achieving food and nutrition sufficiency as well security towards the end of the 12th FYP as Bhutan will soon be graduating from the list of LDC by 2023, which will also be accompanied by the phasing out of most of the donor funds for our developmental activities.
The conference also discussed on the extra initiative needed from the field colleagues as well as the farming community aftermath the phase out of WFP School feeding program in December 2018. This will not only create assured market for the farm produce but also contribute to better health and nutritional requirements of the school children as what they eat at school will be determined by what their parents farm in their fields.
The conference was chaired by the Honorable secretary of the Ministry and attended by 170 livestock and agriculture EAs from the Eight West and West Central dzonkhags covering 81 geogs, representatives from the Ministry, agencies like GNHC, DAMC, DoL, PPD, DoA, ARDC-Bajo and Yusipang. The conference followed a reverse trend wherein, the field colleagues were given the forefront opportunity to present their innovative and successful stories. In addition, the gathering was also briefed on the Food and Nutrition Security Policy of the Kingdom of Bhutan as well as the reflections on the achievements of the 11th FYP and the way forward for the 12th FYP.
The successful ideas and stories presented by the respective Agriculture and livestock Extension officials will be screened for further replication by others as well as accessed for possibilities of having it published in journals.
Submitted by Ms. Tanka M. Pulami, ARDC, Bajo and Choidup Zangpo, ICTD
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