World Bank project to improve agriculture productivity and food security in Bhutan

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The Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) and the World Bank this week launched the USD 8 million Food Security and Agriculture Productivity Project (FSAPP) to support efforts to reduce rural poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition of the Bhutanese.

 

The Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) and the World Bank this week launched the USD 8 million Food Security and Agriculture Productivity Project (FSAPP) to support efforts to reduce rural poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition of the Bhutanese.

The grant agreement was signed on May 18, 2017 by the World Bank and the RGOB. THE FSAPP project was developed in partnership with the World Bank and the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organizations (FAO).

The project is designed to reduce the country’s reliance on food imports and help combat malnutrition in children while improving productivity in agriculture.

Today, agriculture still provides 60 per cent of the country’s employment. “This sector has significant potential for Bhutan and the continued improvement in agriculture productivity will play a very important role to further poverty reduction and aid Bhutan’s development,” said Qimiao Fan, the World Bank Country Director for Bhutan. “And we will continue to support you not just through this project but also through other ongoing projects as well as many future projects which are under preparation,” added Fan.

The FSAPP is a five year project (2017-2022) funded through a grant under the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP). The project also aims to improve home grown school feeding programs for 3000 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 Chhukha, Dagana, Haa, Samtse and Dagana. It aims to benefit 10,000 households in Bhutan.

“Today Bhutan and particularly the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MOAF) is proud to say that through various donors including the World Bank, Bhutan is self-sufficient in food such as rice, vegetables, cardamom, ginger and citrus,” said Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, the Minister for Agriculture and Forestry.

“The project presents an important opportunity to reduce pockets of extreme poverty in Bhutan and will enable smallholder farmers to move from subsistence farming to commercial market driven agriculture. It will also focus on strengthening women’s roles by creating an opportunity for them to participate in activities.”

 

Pema Seldon (This article has been edited for the Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared on The Bhutanese.

 


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