Bhutan and World Bank part­ners to im­prove agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tiv­ity and food se­cu­rity

Bhutan Times - - Home - Staff Re­porter

Bhutan and the World Bank launched the $8 mil­lion Food Se­cu­rity and Agri­cul­ture Pro­duc­tiv­ity Pro­ject (FSAPP) to sup­port ef­forts to re­duce ru­ral poverty, food in­se­cu­rity, and mal­nu­tri­tion to ben­e­fit the Bhutanese peo­ple in the cap­i­tal last Thurs­day.

The Pro­ject is de­signed to re­duce the county’s reliance on food im­ports and help com­bat mal­nu­tri­tion in chil­dren while im­prov­ing the pro­duc­tiv­ity of agri­cul­tural, which em­ploys 60 per­cent of Bhutan’s peo­ple. This pro­ject will ben­e­fit over 10,000 house­holds with 30 per­cent of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries be­ing women.

“This pro­ject will help in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity of crops such as rice, veg­eta­bles, pulses, pota­toes, car­damom, gin­ger and cit­rus” said Qimiao Fan, the World Bank Coun­try Direc­tor for Bhutan. “It will equip farm­ers and pro­duc­ers’ groups with greater knowl­edge and re­sources, while also pro­mot­ing high value nu­tri­ent-rice crops for do­mes­tic and ex­port mar­kets, “he said.

The FSAPP is a fiveyear pro­ject (2017-2020) funded through a grant un­der the Global Agri­cul­ture and Food Se­cu­rity Pro­gramme (GAFSP). The pro­ject also aims to im­prove home­grown school feed­ing pro­grams for 3,000 school chil­dren in 16 schools lo­cated in 11 pro­ject gewogs. It will do so by link­ing pro­ducer groups with schools, fo­cus­ing on 24 gewogs in the five south west­ern dzongkhags of Chukha, Da­gana, Haa, Samtse and Sarpang.

“The pro­ject presents an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity to re­duce pock­ets of ex­treme poverty in Bhutan and en­able small­holder farm­ers to move from sub­sis­tence farm­ing to com­mer­cial mar­ket-driven agri­cul­ture. The pro­ject will also fo­cus on strength­en­ing women’s roles by cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for them to par­tic­i­pate in ac­tiv­i­ties, en­sur­ing they are rep­re­sented in farmer groups and in­volved in de­ci­sion mak­ing” said Ly­onpo Yeshey Dorji, the Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture and Forests.

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