New vegetable production site

The Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) and Larson and Toubro (L&T) company of the Punatsangchu Hydro-Electric Project (PHEP) have found a new source for vegetables – a cooperative which is in the making.

Though it is yet to be registered, the cooperative society which comprises 23 farmer groups of Wangdue (12), Punakha (4) and Tsirang (7) started semi-commercial vegetable productions from May 2012 with the initiatives of the Department of Agriculture (DoA) and the Department of Agriculture Marketing and Cooperatives (DAMC).

The Cooperative has so far produced and supplied 22 different vegetables besides eggs and chicken to 13 different messes of these companies.

The main objective of the recent initiatives of the Ministry of Agriculture & Forests (MoAF) is to commercialize vegetable production and marketing in the country to substitute vegetable imports. In that it plans to tap the huge market of the PHEP and the local requirements, thereby help meet the final goal of vegetable self sufficiency.

The DoA supplied high-yield vegetable seeds and with the support of the Dzongkhags and DAMC, farmers’ cooperatives were formed and vegetable transportations were supported.

The Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAOWE), DoA, DAMC and the Research Development Centre (RDC) of Bajo in Wangdue dzongkhag have linked farmers with the PHEP market through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between farmers, dzongkhag agriculture extensions and the PHEP companies.

Following the MoU, selected gewogs of three Dzongkhags of Punakha, Tsirang and Wangdue were assigned specific vegetables to cultivate in different seasons based on their agro-ecological conditions in order to try and provide an uninterrupted vegetable supply to the project.

The local vegetables produced from these areas by the cooperatives have so far been able to meet the demands of the expatriate workers of the PHEP.

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One comment

  1. As the cliche goes- ‘drops of water forms the great ocean’.. a good initiative, hope efforts are made to sustain and strengthen it… Cheers

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