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 to benefit the Bhutanese people.
The project is designed to reduce the country’s reliance on food imports and help combat the malnutrition in children while improving the productivity in agriculture.
Today agriculture still provides 60 per cent of the country’s employment. Agriculture in Bhutan has significant potential and continued improvement in agriculture productivity will play a very important role to further poverty reduction and country’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 on going projects as well as many future projects which is under preparation,” said 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 Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry ( MOAF) is proud to say that through various donor including the World Bank, Bhutan is self sufficient in food including 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 if extreme poverty in Bhutan and enable smallholder farmers to move from subsistence farming to commercial market driven agriculture. This project will also focus on strengthening women’s roles by creating an opportunity for them to participate in activities”.
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).