Agri­cul­ture min­istry scales down per­for­mance tar­gets

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Forests (MoAF) has achieved seven of the to­tal 74 tar­gets while 60 tar­gets are on track and seven at risk.

The min­istry re­ceived Nu.2.05 bil­lion of the to­tal Nu.3.9 bil­lion ap­proved by the gov­ern­ment for the fis­cal year 2016 to 2017.

That was what the agri­cul­ture sec­re­tary Rinzin Dorji re­ported in the mid-year progress review meet­ing on the An­nual Per­for­mance Agree­ments (APA) on 9 Jan­uary in Thim­phu.

The agri­cul­ture sec­tor, faced with bud­get con­straints, pro­posed that the tar­gets of APA be de­creased for want of bud­get.

The min­istry has a maize pro­duc­tion tar­get of 96,106 met­ric tons (MT) at the end of the plan, of which the tar­get has been re­vised to 84,661 MT. Rinzin Dorji said, “There are re­ports on crop dam­age by wild an­i­mals, hail­storm and other nat­u­ral calami­ties.”

The wheat pro­duc­tion tar­get was at 8,043 MT. How­ever, it was re­vised to 5,000 MT. The min­istry re­ported that it was be­cause of com­pe­ti­tion from other more eco­nom­i­cal crops and less in­ter­est from the farm­ers.

The potato pro­duc­tion tar­get of 50,000 MT was re­vised to 62,952 MT per an­num. The sec­re­tary said that the min­istry had re­ceived re­port on crop dam­age by frost and hail­storm, and rot­ting from ma­jor potato grow­ing dzongkhag, in­clud­ing Wang­due, Chukha and Haa. He said, “It was be­cause of heavy mon­soon.”

The tar­get of mush­room pro­duc­tion was also re­duced from 113 MT to 60 MT. The es­tab­lish­ment of lab­o­ra­tory fa­cil­i­ties af­ter the Na­tional Mush­room Cen­tre shifted from Yusi­pang to Wangchutaba, he said, had af­fected the spawn be­cause of lack of lab fa­cil­i­ties and bud­get. The cen­tre also faced bud­get con­straints.

How­ever, the min­is­ter for for­eign af­fairs, Ly­onpo Dam­cho Dorji, said that in­stead of re­duc­ing the tar­gets, it is im­por­tant to con­tinue work­ing to ful­fill them. “Re­duc­tion is not im­por­tant but it is im­por­tant to re­solve the prob­lems to in­crease the next crop­ping,” he said.

The min­istry also re­duced the length of as­sured ir­ri­ga­tion chan­nel con­structed and re­ha­bil­i­tated. From 197.6 km, the tar­get was re­vised to 66 km by June this year.

Rinzin Dorji said that non-avail­abil­ity of bud­get was re­ported dur­ing the 11 FYP mid-year re­views. He re­ported only 11km as work in progress from the spillover ac­tiv­ity bud­get.

The min­is­ter of agri­cul­ture, Ly­onpo Yeshey Dorji, said that the bud­get is­sue was true with the ma­jor projects that the min­istry was car­ry­ing out. He said there were many mi­nor ir­ri­ga­tion chan­nels built by lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

Hu­man-wildlife con­flict man­age­ment com­mit­tee es­tab­lished tar­get of 36 num­bers but the bud­get made avail­able and could be re­placed by com­pen­sa­tion scheme or post­poned to next fis­cal year. The min­istry re­ported that there was no ap­proved bud­get for the FY 20162017.

Ly­onchen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay noted that the main re­duc­tion was be­cause of bud­get con­straints. “We will dis­cuss with the min­istry of fi­nance and re­lated agen­cies on the gen­eral is­sues,” he said.

He also said that the need of bud­get on the con­struc­tion of ir­ri­ga­tion chan­nels would be dis­cussed with the agri­cul­ture min­is­ter and fi­nance min­is­ter.

The mid-year review ex­er­cise ex­pects to mon­i­tor im­ple­men­ta­tion progress of the an­nual per­for­mance agree­ments of re­spec­tive min­istries and agen­cies.

The review meet­ing de­lib­er­ated on so­lu­tions to ad­dress the is­sues and prob­lems sub­mit­ted by the agen­cies and agreed on in­cor­po­rat­ing these so­lu­tions to en­sure ef­fec­tive de­liv­ery of the signed APAs in the re­main­ing months of the fis­cal year.

It was aimed to pro­vide pro-ac­tive sup­port to min­istries, agen­cies, dzongkhags and thromdes in achiev­ing the APA tar­gets and also to flag ar­eas of con­cern for timely cor­rec­tive mea­sures.

The 10 min­istries and seven au­ton­o­mous agen­cies pre­sented the midyear review chaired by prime min­is­ter with the cab­i­net ministers, sec­re­taries, heads of de­part­ments and au­ton­o­mous agen­cies, and other se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

The mid-year review of the 20 dzongkhags and four thromdes is also ex­pected to be car­ried out in Jan­uary.

The APA was con­ducted by Gov­ern­ment Per­for­mance Man­age­ment Di­vi­sion (GPMD) un­der the of­fice of the prime min­is­ter and cab­i­net.

The 10 min­istries, seven au­ton­o­mous agen­cies and 20 dzongkhags had signed APA with the Prime Min­is­ter in July 2016.

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