After years of struggling the Kingdom of Bhutan is finally on its way to becoming the first country in the world to grow 100 percent organic food. With much potential, the Buddhist minority state, landlocked between China and India seems to have an eye for unconventional methodologies. Bhutan is internationally known for focusing on safeguarding the environment and evaluating its country’s progress through the happiness of its citizens. A development model called “Gross National Happiness” has gained much attention throughout the world, having been discussed at the United Nations as well.
The decision to produce organic food isn’t the first time Bhutan has resolved to follow an unconventional approach. Television was banned in the country until 1999 and Bhutan has adamantly protected its cultural heritage from foreign elements by refusing to promote its tourism industry. Cautiously taking steps to open up to the global community and forming its first diplomatic relations with key global players, Bhutan has seen an instant surge in foreign goods and services such as fancy cars, watches and cinema halls playing American movies. The country’s decision to welcome new ideas is evident through its policy to trim down artificial chemicals in farming. The plan foresees the country producing staple food and fruits through a 100 percent organic process in the next 10 years. Commenting on the initiative, Pema Gyamtsho, Agriculture Minister of Bhutan, said, “Bhutan has decided to opt for a green economy in light of the tremendous pressure we are exerting on the planet. If you go for very intensive agriculture it would imply the use of so many chemicals, which is not in keeping with our belief in Buddhism, which calls for us to live in harmony with nature.”