Integrated Farming Popular Among Civil Servants

“It provides an opportunity for civil servants to participate in a healthy recreational activity and produce their own food.”

Farming in Bhutan. (Source:


By Rinchen Zangmo I Kuensel

Integrated farming which started four years ago at Wangsisina in Thimphu is still popular amongst civil servants.

The aim of the Integrated Agriculture Technology Farming (IATF) is to demonstrate using agriculture-based economic enterprise in an integrated, holistic and packaged production process using appropriate farm technologies. The farm is spread over 28.03 acres of government land.

Original aim of the farm

Thimphu’s deputy chief agriculture officer, Dhodo, said that the farm was initially planned for out-of-school youth and those looking for employment opportunities in Thimphu.

“We focus on social mandates rather than on the production. Even if a person is interested in kitchen gardening, there is hardly any space in a place like Thimphu,” said Dhodo.

“It provides an opportunity for civil servants to participate in a healthy recreational activity and produce their own food.”

He said that the IATF was established at a time when Bhutan was importing almost 80 percent of its vegetables from abroad.

What the IATF provides

IATF provides information related to production and post-harvest management to visitors, farmers, traders, and students interested in taking up farming.

Sonam Penjore had been working in one of the plots in Wangsisina for the last four years. “It has been rewarding. Whatever we harvest is shared with neighbours and relatives.”

After working in the plot, he said that his family only had to buy a few vegetables which were not grown on the farm such as onions.

Last year, the farm also started poultry farming. This year, the Thimphu dzongkhag administration plans to introduce fishery, vermin-compost technique, and to incorporate improved strawberry cultivation.

“Such integrated farm is difficult to be replicated in other places due to a lack of resources such as land and money,” Dhodo said.

He said that the integrated farming was introduced to address the shortage of home-grown vegetables and fruits channelled through an organised planning and management of agriculture development.

Eco-friendly technologies harnessed on the farm

The farm’s overall planning encompasses eco-friendly technologies that are adaptive to the changing climate and weather conditions for sustained production system.

Thimphu’s agriculture extension officer, NB Lama, said that the plots are provided only to married individuals. “As the lone plot is about 10-15 decimal, the farming work needs more labour.”

Pema Lhaden is one of the 85 civil servants who had been working on the plot since 2014.

“I have a 10-decimal plot. Although it is a little far from where I live, it is fun to work. It is like a picnic for us,” she said.

About 50 new applicants got plots at the farm last year. The farm was established at the cost of Nu 5 million.


This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the new Bhutan Times.

Related Posts

Bhutanese Journal of Agriculture Launched

The journal is published by the Agriculture Research and Extension Division of the Department of Agriculture and will be...

Mar 18, 2018 22:31

Dophuchen youth take up agriculture business

Youths picking up agriculture business in Bhutan

Dec 27, 2017 12:52

Climate Information Vital for Agriculture

The Agriculture officer with agricultural research and extension division, Sagar Acharya, said that the usage of climate...

Nov 13, 2017 08:00

Denmark to Support Bhutan’s Organic Agriculture

Bhutan officially launched the policy for organic farming in 2007 and proclaimed the intention to become a fully organic...

Oct 24, 2017 14:50

World Bank project to improve agriculture productivity and food...

The Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) and the World Bank this week launched the USD 8 million Food Security and...

Sep 29, 2017 11:49

Youth Farming Cooperative in Chhukha

The cooperative invested in farming cardamom and off-season vegetables cultivation to meet the demands in the urban...

Feb 10, 2018 17:21



15th National Job Fair Offered Over 3,600 Vacancies Overseas And In Bhutan

Companies from Kuwait, India and officials from the language institutes in Japan also offered job opportunities and trainings at the fair.

May 20, 2018 08:52

Bhutan Observes World Telecommunications And Information Society Day

The theme of the celebration this year is “Enabling the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for all.”

May 18, 2018 14:27


Meet Bhutan's cerebral palsy 'foot' artist Pema Tshering

He was abandoned after his parents found out he had cerebral palsy. But a chance meeting with the Queen Mother turned his life around.

May 20, 2018 14:28

How Social Media Is Changing Lhuentse – A Remote Province In Bhutan

Lhuentse has achieved over 98% of telecommunication connectivity.

May 15, 2018 15:23


Bhutanese Athletes Preparing For The Tokyo Olympics

Japanese coaches and experts will visit Bhutan to train the athletes in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

May 05, 2018 15:46

Phub Zam Monger - First Judoka from Bhutan to Win a Medal

Of the five judokas that took part in the senior level’s 8th South Asian Judo Championship in Nepal, Phub Zam Monger was the lone athlete to...

May 02, 2018 15:12


Azista Bhutan - A Pharmaceutical Plant To Be Set Up In Samdrup Jongkhar In 2019

The ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the pharmaceutical plant at Motanga Industrial Park was held on 17 May.

May 19, 2018 00:35

Seven Business Ideas Win Cash Prizes At The Business Idea Competition Of Bhutan

"A business idea’s real worth lies in the successful execution and not in the idea itself."

May 14, 2018 10:58


Therapeutic Power of the Gasa Hot Springs

Known for its healing powers, the Gasa tshachu attracts about 3,000 visitors every year, making it the most visited places of the country’s...

Apr 29, 2018 03:45

New Film Shows How These Elite Runners Finished World's Hardest Trek In Just 2 Weeks

It usually takes a month to complete the Snowman Trek, but this group of athletes have done it in just two weeks.

Apr 23, 2018 10:41


Dish8Door Delivers Food And Happiness Right To Your Doorstep

Dish8Door is a delivery service with the motto ‘You Pick, We Deliver’.

May 17, 2018 17:17

A Woman Of Pure Heart Wins Best Short Film Award

A film with a message, A Woman Of Pure Heart touches on various social issues in Bhutan.

May 08, 2018 18:33

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!