….the party pledged to enhance the farming mechanism  

Dechen Dolkar

The Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) is confident of sweeping all three constituencies in Pemagatshel in the upcoming general elections.

In the primary elections, the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) secured the highest votes in both Khar-Yurung and Nganglam constituencies, with a substantial vote difference. Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party garnered the highest votes in the Nanong Shumar constituency, albeit with a small margin compared to the BTP.

 With the support of DPT and other party supporters, BTP is optimistic about securing victories across all constituencies in Pemagatshel.

During the party’s campaign in Yurung, Shumar and Zobel gewogs, yesterday, President Pema Chewang acknowledged the supporters of the other three parties supporting the party.

He committed in developing Pemagatshel, an area that has been neglected so far.

He pledged to prioritize the transition from subsistence to commercial farming, aiming to double annual export earnings to Nu 7 billion by 2029.

To address human-wildlife conflict, the president promised farmers to provide electric and chain link fencing at feasible locations and explore other alternative measures in consultation with relevant stakeholders.

He said that the funding for these initiatives will be solicited through grants primarily from environment and conservation windows, as human-wildlife conflicts are conspicuous in conservation and wildlife corridors.

He also committed to supporting land development and management, promoting farm mechanisation, and implementing high-tech agriculture. Additionally, he pledged to formulate an effective and enabling insurance policy to protect farmers from heavy losses and facilitate the establishment of domestic fertilizer plants.

To generate income for farmers, he said that they will allow the harvesting of timber on private land for commercial purposes and reform rural timber allocation for commercialization and allow direct export of timber.

Furthermore, the President promised to construct cold storage and logistics facilities at strategic locations to prevent post-harvest losses and build warehouses on an as-needed basis for food storage, maximizing the value of agricultural produce.

He said that they will enhance agriculture production and the domestic market for agriculture products by linking directly with institutions and introducing cold chain facilities to youth or farmer cooperative groups for effective delivery of goods to the market.

The party pledged to initiate a land bank for privately registered fallow land for commercial farming.

They also committed to ensuring market access by facilitating the trading of agricultural commodities through enabling policies, implementing periodic changes in trade regulations to maintain stability in agricultural trade, and promoting online trading of agricultural commodities through essential infrastructure and networks established in collaboration with relevant agencies.