Japan Provides 353 More Power Tillers

The Ambassador of Japan to Bhutan, Kenji Hiramatsu handed over 353 sets of power tillers and accessories worth Nu 137 million to the agriculture minister, Yeshey Dorji in a simple ceremony at the Agriculture Machinery Centre in Paro yesterday.

Japan provides 353 more power tillers to Bhutan. (Source: http://www.kuenselonline.com)


Come summer, farmers across Bhutan will have access to more power tillers to help them complete paddy transplantation works on time. n the last 30 years, Japan has provided 3,592 farm machines for Bhutan.

Abundant help from Japan

The Ambassador of Japan to Bhutan, Kenji Hiramatsu handed over 353 sets of power tillers and accessories worth Nu 137 million to the agriculture minister, Yeshey Dorji in a simple ceremony at the Agriculture Machinery Centre in Paro yesterday.

The power tillers were received through the project that was initiated in 2015 based on the request for 1,450 power tillers. Since then Japan has provided 592 power tillers.

“We’re waiting to furnish the remaining 858 power tillers for proper and efficient use of these machines,” the Ambassador said.

He said that over the past 30 years, Japan has provided 3,592 farm machines. “We can say that the farm machines are the symbols of friendship with Bhutan,” he said.

Benefits of the power tillers

Thanking the people and the government of Japan, Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said that the power tillers would greatly contribute to the country’s efforts in farm mechanisation, which is one of the most important programmes implemented by the ministry.

“The machines we receive today will uplift the lives of more than half of the Bhutanese population who depend on agriculture, which is why assistance in this sector is deeply valued and appreciated,” Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said.

Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu said that his government understands the importance of agriculture to Bhutan. It is therefore not surprising that agricultural cooperation between the two countries has a long history, he said.

“Recognising this importance, Japan will continue to support the agriculture sector in Bhutan,” he said.

Agriculture productivity in the country today is compromised by the lack of farm labour, which has substantial negative impact on household food security, the minister said.

Lyonpo said that with farm mechanisation, farming could be transformed into cost-effective, economically efficient, more rewarding, and a less drudgery enterprise.

The role of the Farm Machinery Corporation Ltd (FMCL)

The Farm Machinery Corporation Ltd (FMCL) was instituted a year ago to deliver effective and efficient service and the optimal utilisation of farm machinery, meeting demands of the farmers and to encourage commercial agriculture.

The FMCL today has 505 power tillers for hiring. The power tillers will be distributed to the hiring centres of FMCL.

The FMCL chief executive officer, Karma Thinley said that unlike in the past, these power tillers will be held at the three centres in Nubding, Drakteng, and Buli in Zhemgang.

“This is one of the lessons we learnt from giving power tillers to the gewog centres in the earlier batches,” Karma Thinley said. “There is a problem in the operation and maintenance of the machines.”

The corporation has also requested for Nu 80 million in assistance to procure spare parts. “We’ll buy and keep the mostly used spare parts so that users don’t have to wait to buy these spares,” Karma Thinley said.

The corporation has employed 333 youth as operators of which 10 have quit.

Challenges faced by the Farm Machinery Corporation Ltd (FMCL)

The idea, he said, is to recruit youth as operators initially and then gradually hand over the operation and maintenance to them so that they can become entrepreneurs. However, it has remained a challenge for the corporation to get adequate applicants.

“That’s why we’ve to collaborate with the labour ministry on the recruitment,” he said.

The corporation has placed operators in more than 100 gewog centres. It is expected to open 65 centres by June this year.

Bhutan has received a total of 3,186 power tillers worth Nu 1.803 Billion from Japan’s Kenedy Round II (KR-II) in 25 batches since its inception in 1984.

The agriculture ministry records show that the country has received power tillers and other farm machinery from Japan through the KR-II grant assistance that began in 1984.

Until 2015, Bhutan has received 2,795 power tillers through the KR-II grant.

With the aid of the KR-II grants, more than 13,099 acres of farmland have been mechanised. Each acre of farmland that has been mechanised is equivalent to six people who would have otherwise been required there.

The agriculture officials said that it has also led to a 15 percent increase in crop yield and 49 percent reduction in farm production costs.


By Tshering Palden (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared on Kuensel.




Related Posts

Indulge in Awesome Japanese Food in Bhutan

On our various visits to the first ramen joint in Thimphu, we have seen Japanese diners as well as Bhutanese families...

Dec 06, 2017 07:40

A Japanese GNH Factory Employs the Intellectually Disabled

Yasuhiro Ohyama, former CEO of NRI, advocates a society where everyone could work. It is the society where everyone...

Nov 28, 2017 10:29

Japan commits to continue its assistance to Bhutan

Since its inception in 2006, the annual consultation continues to serve as an avenue for the two countries to review and...

Aug 24, 2017 16:16

Learning to burn and shine like the Japanese

The indefatigable stamina and patience to work for any stretch of time defines how robust they could be in chasing their...

Jul 30, 2017 12:54

JICA to Reconstruct Passang Zam in Gelephu

The deputy representative said that the replacement of the existing bridge will not only benefit the hydropower projects...

Jan 07, 2018 12:20

JICA signs agreements with GNHC and REC

Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC), Royal Education Council (REC), and Japan International Cooperation Agency...

Aug 18, 2017 10:18



Commemorative bank notes featuring Bhutan's Crown Prince to be sold in Singapore

One million pieces are available worldwide and Singapore will have a "limited allocation".

Mar 20, 2018 17:10

Bhutan Ranks 97th in World Happiness Report

The report, which is created by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, is based on factors like per capita GDP, social support,...

Mar 16, 2018 21:48


Bhutanese Journal of Agriculture Launched

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

Mar 18, 2018 22:31

Conserving Traditional Bhutanese Architecture

“The old buildings are important as a testimony of the past. It is not only important to preserve these houses, but also to encourage the...

Mar 15, 2018 11:47


Bhutan out of ASEAN Women’s T20 Open Tournament

Bhutan had the chance of finishing among the top three teams with a total of three points after playing four matches. At the finals,...

Mar 14, 2018 17:22

National Cricket Team Wins First International Title

The National cricket team defeated Thailand by three runs in the finals to win the championship. A total of four countries China, Bhutan,...

Mar 02, 2018 18:14


Top Five Business Ideas Bag Grants at National Start-up Weekend

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said during the prize awarding ceremony that although the government has been promoting entrepreneurship,...

Mar 20, 2018 22:53

Bhutan National Start-Up Weekend Begins

The MoIC Minister DN Dhungyel said that there is a need to change the expectations of youth who thinks that the government is the main...

Mar 17, 2018 12:05


Nyungne - A Fascinating Winter Ritual

“Winters can get real desolate here and nyungne is the only festival that makes the place lively,” he said. “It was so good to see everyone...

Mar 10, 2018 21:25

Pilgrimage to Beyul Langdra - The Hidden Treasure of the Bull Cliff

It is believed that Guru Rinpoche had hidden more than 60 sacred treasures in and around the cliff to be discovered by prophesied treasure...

Feb 24, 2018 13:16


Schools and Institutes Use Composting to Reduce Landfill Waste

Developed by Koji Takakura, a Japanese national, the composting method has been introduced to more than 60 countries.

Mar 19, 2018 21:54

Singaporean director crowdfunds for documentary on uncovering Bhutan's 'secret to happiness'

Singaporean director Loretta Chen is looking to raise US$25,000 for a film project on Bhutan.

Mar 15, 2018 22:02

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!