Horticulture farming to be promoted in West and Central region
With a technical assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Integrated Horticulture Promotion Project is to be in place for west and central region. The Research Development Centre (RDC) Bajo will implement the IHPP covering four identified Dzongkhags of Wangdue, Punakha, Tsirang and Dagana, which will benefit the staffs of Research Development Centre at Bajo, Mithun sub-centre, its extension officers and farmers of this four Dzongkhags. The project comes with the objectives to develop appropriate technologies by introducing suitable cultivars and developing horticulture management practices. Further it is to strengthen the vegetable seeds and hybrid fruit seedlings production at RDC-Bajo and National Seed Centre, private nurseries, seed growers, training and extension system in the projected areas. According to the Chief Horticulture Officer, Mr. Kinley Tshering, the project will upscale the technologies, systems and human resources developed by the Horticulture Research and Development Project (HRDP) that has proven successful in the eastern Bhutan. Considering a huge success of the JICA supported HRDP in the east, which enhanced horticulture farming and farmer’s living standard, the government requested the JICA to support a similar project for the west-central region where the higher agricultural potential is expected. Following a series of discussions between the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest with JICA, the minutes of meeting has been signed by the Agriculture Secretary, Dasho Tenzin Dhendup and Mr. Masahiro Tawa, the JICA team leader for the detailed planning survey. At the signing, Dasho shared that there is a lot of potential on horticulture and vegetables farming, due to globalization and marketing enterprises. He also added that the project will not only enhance the fruit production but will also ensure the proper management of orchards, which except for apple is least, looked after. Appreciating the joint collaboration, Mr. Masahiro Tawa, said, “the project will play an important role in improving the people’s livelihood and their nutritional status.” He added that the project will also help to reduce import of fruits and vegetables and act as a substitution. Integrated Horticulture Promotion Project is a five year project and it is to be started from December 2015 and will go on till December 2020. Before the commencement of project, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest (MoAF) will sign a record of discussions with JICA in the first week of September this year.