Photo Courtesy: Heavenly Bhutan

Bhutan embarks on Agri-Tech Revolution to boost agri sector and ensure food security

In a significant move aimed at transforming Bhutan’s agricultural landscape, the government has unveiled a comprehensive Agri-Tech Strategy during the State of The Nation Address by the Prime Minister. Aligned with the nation’s long-term vision, which aims to elevate Bhutan to a high-income nation with a GDP of USD 10 billion by 2034, the strategy focuses on harnessing technology to boost high-value agriculture and livestock production, enhance food security, and improve the livelihoods of farmers.

The ambitious Agri-Tech initiative integrates cutting-edge technology into farming practices, forming the core of Bhutan’s agricultural growth plan. Vertical farms, utilizing advanced hydroponic and aeroponic techniques, will be tested and scaled up to ensure year-round production of high-quality crops. Additionally, automated systems maximizing water and energy efficiency will be introduced, enhancing sustainability and productivity.

IoT-driven solutions will empower farmers, providing real-time data on soil and animal health, temperature, moisture, and pest prevalence. Drones equipped with advanced sensors will be deployed for crop yield assessment and early detection of weed and disease issues. Bhutan’s farmers will access a new agri-food digital platform, offering services such as crop advisory, weather warnings, and pest outbreak alerts.

The government encourages private sector enterprises to establish machinery and equipment rental services. Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MoAL) will proactively assist interested entities in sourcing and importing farm machinery, equipment, tools, and spare parts, facilitating the adoption of modern agricultural practices.

Aiming to meet the growing demand for food while enhancing food security, the Agri-Tech strategy supports high-value agriculture and livestock commodities. Special attention will be paid to establishing large-scale commodity-based organic agriculture and livestock production, with a focus on expanding markets and ensuring certification.

The Agri-Tech initiative represents a crucial step towards realizing Bhutan’s agricultural ambitions. By integrating technology, the nation aims to bolster agricultural output, improve farmers’ livelihoods, and contribute significantly to economic development. The PM said that with an eye on sustainable practices and increased productivity, Bhutan’s agricultural sector is self-assured for a transformative journey.

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