AID: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will expand its technical assistance in promoting horticulture production in the country.
The Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) secretary, Sonam Wangchuk, and the chief representative with JICA Bhutan, Yumiko Asakuma, signed an agreement of USD 2 million for the technical cooperation project “Integrated Horticulture Promotion Project in the West Central Region,” yesterday.
The Renewable Natural Resource Research and Development Centre in Bajo, Wandue will implement the project in four districts of Tsirang, Dagana, Wangdue and Punakha.
Sonam Wangchuk said the project would have spillover effects if horticulture production in the four districts improves and which can then be replicated in other districts.
The aid will include bringing Japanese horticulture experts in the country, human resource development and providing necessary vehicles, agricultural machineries and equipment for effective project implementation.
This technical cooperation project was proposed during the ninth bilateral consultation last year. The Japanese government has been providing technical assistance in horticulture production since 2010 in eastern Bhutan.
Sonam Wangchuk said the programme was successful in the east enhancing both horticulture farming and farmers’ living standard and there is a need to boost the same in western Bhutan.
“The Japanese government has provided assistance in various fields like agriculture and infrastructures, covering almost all the vital sectors of the Bhutanese economy,” he said.
The agriculture ministry and JICA discussed the project on July 14. Agriculture secretary, Tenzin Dhendup and JICA’s team leader for the detailed planning survey team, Masahiro Tawa signed the minutes of the meeting.
The five year project is expected to roll out in December this year.
By Dechen Tshomo