Although geographically-dictated to remain an agrarian nation, farming still is considered to be more of drudgery than a source of livelihood. And the observation receives support through the visible lack of innovation for the occupation.
Farmers of generations have stuck to the conventional and orthodox way of farming as if unwilling to transform into anything the least innovatively convenient.
But if all factors are willing to induce the much needed change and practice, the farming sector can become an attractive profession. This is what Happy Green Cooperative, an educated youth group firmly had to say in a recent Coop Innovation Workshop held in Thimphu.
The group claimed that for several years now, they invested a continuous effort toward bringing more innovations into farming sector. This is because they believe that farming has many opportunities to harness rather than considering it a challenge. Hence, the group strives to transform farming into an attractive profession by injecting innovative ideas into the sector.
The founder of Happy Green Cooperative, Sangay Rinchen said, “We lack both interest and investment from the government and private sectors to transform the agriculture sector into an attractive profession.” This according to him is besides regular crop and horticulture adaption research. So, there is need of a series of innovations outside of farm particularly in processing, manufacturing & marketing.
He added, innovations can make the rural and farming life more interesting. To the people attending the workshop, Sangay Rinchen said rural-urban migration is increasingly becoming a problem in the Country. This, he said, is because many youth once educated refuse to return to the farms. “These youths rather chose to remain in the towns even if they fail to land up with a job.”
But with innovative farming in place, he believes, more educated youth will increasingly choose farming as their profession in life. This can have a far-reaching impact on population migration from rural areas to the urban centers.
In so making, as a first step, one of the “associate members” of Happy Green Cooperative, Karsang Dorji, an engineer by profession all his life presented to the gathering on how farming can be made interesting. He presented his research findings titled “Innovating happy rural Bhutan” through green technology.
Motivated by his own creativity and creations thus far, he has done series of innovative agriculture and renewal energy works.
One such innovation is “Year-round Shitake Mushroom Farming.”
Shiitake mushroom is the second most widely-cultivated mushroom in the world.