21 May, Thimphu: The Hon’ble Agriculture Minister, Yeshey Dorji inaugurated the third Renewable Natural Resource (RNR) Sector Program and Project Coordination meeting which is an important forum to celebrate the combined achievements of the Ministry and the development partners.
Dasho Tenzin Dhendup, the Hon’ble Agriculture Secretary in his welcome speech noted, ‘It is an important forum for policy dialogue and aid coordination between the Ministry and its development partners. It provides a platform for both partners to deliberate on areas of mutual interest and concerns to further strengthen the development cooperation.’
Lyonpo stated that the agriculture is seen as one of the five jewels of economic development for Bhutan and that with the generous support from the development partners, more improvement can be achieved in smallholder agriculture, poverty reduction and environment protection.
‘I strongly believe that with proper planning and right investment in RNR Sector, we can improve productivity and increase income for smallholder agriculture,’ said Lyonpo.
Lyonpo further said the common goals needed to be translated into tangible actions thereby proposing the development partners to strengthen investment in agriculture to help achieve the goals.
Since the country is a mountainous topography with limited arable land, poor soil and the difficulties posed by climate change, the RNR sector faces huge challenges. Therefore, the participants were presented on the Ministry’s recent implementation of the vital policy reforms to enhance food production.
Some of the key initiatives undertaken by the Ministry were on enhancing irrigation and water management, land development, promotion of farm mechanisation, combating of human wildlife conflict through electric fencing, promotion of agriculture marketing, establishment of agriculture and livestock farms and organic agriculture development.
With substantive session of the RNR meeting, Lyonpo stated ‘I am confident that the development partners will respond with equal commitment and energy, as you always have; and address important issues with regards to agriculture, food security, poverty reduction and environmental protection.’
Reported by Tashi Yangzom with photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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