16 November, Chhukha: The Director of the Department of Agriculture (DoA) inaugurated the Farmers’ Sales Outlet (FSO) yesterday at Gedu under Chhukha Dzongkhag. It was constructed by Chhukha Dzongkhag Administration through the funding support of Food Security and Agriculture Productivity Project (FSAPP) [https://www.doa.gov.bt/projects/& https://bit.ly/3oCfjQG].
The inauguration ceremony began with the performing of Lhabsang Thruesoel and Tashi Nga-soel prayers, presided over by the Venerable Lam Neten of Chhukha Rabdey. The program included the opening of the FSO, handing-over of the structure to the Chhukha Farmers’ Cooperatives (CFCooP), local food exhibition and the launching of “Chhukha Natural” products and some of the organic products certified through the Local Organic Assurance System (LOAS) promoted by the National Organic Flagship Program and the National Centre for Organic Agriculture (NCOA).
The event saw participants from the DoA, FSAPP-project management unit, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Country Office, NCOA, Department of Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives, Chhukha Dzongkhag Administration, Gedu College of Business Studies and the CFCooP.
Chhukha has selected the CFCooP, a 32-member (9 females, 22 males) cooperative to operate the FSO based on the standard operating procedure developed by the Dzongkhag. Speaking to the gathering, the Chief Guest stressed that it is of utmost importance that the cooperative and the Dzongkhag Administration ensure the optimum utilization of the structure to benefit all the farmers of 11 gewogs under Chhukha.
The local products of Chhukha have been branded as “Natural Chhukha”. The FSO will have, among others, a “Chhukha Natural” product sale counter and a restaurant, where the delicacies of Chhukha Natural products and organic products will be served at reasonable rates.
The food exhibition and sale of the Chhukha Natural and LOAS certified products in the FSO was followed by the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Officiating Dzongdag, Chhukha Dzongkhag and the Chairperson of the CFCooP. The Director awarded the certificates to the CFCooP, LOAS farmers and the Agriculture Extension Supervisors of the concerned gewogs for their commendable works in launching their products.
The representative of the CFCooP said, “It is of immense joy to have been given the opportunity to operate the FSO and contribute to the advancement of the Chhukha Natural brand”. Both the representative of the CFCooP as well as the Dzongkhag Administration expressed their gratitude to the DoA, FSAPP and NCOA for their significant support.
The FSAPP has also supported the construction of similar structures in four other project Dzongkhags of Dagana, Haa, Samtse and Sarpang.
-Submitted by DoA and ICTD
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