The Central Machinery Unit (CMU) in Bumthang has constructed at least 50 percent of the farm roads in the last three plans. In the 11th Plan, CMU constructed about 1,300km new farm roads and maintenance work on over 1,680km roads.

About 97 percent of the machinery at the CMU today is sourced through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)grant aid project.

Officiating deputy chief programme officer, Ugyen Cheku, said CMU provides machinery for maintenance and new road construction across the country.

“If the local government requests for construction of new roads to the ministry, except for fuel, the CMU provides assistance such as operators, backup, and maintenance of the machinery.”

A press release from the ministry of agriculture states that 457km of farm road construction targeted in the 11th Plan was constructed with the machinery received in the third phase of the project.

“After the completion of 1,300km rural agriculture road under this project more than 70,000 rural inhabitants will get better access to public facilities,” it states. “Accessibility will be increased, value of farm product doubled and rural livelihood and poverty reduced.”

The CMU received over 250 units of machinery through the three phases of grant-aid project. The third phase received 118 units in 2017 worth Nu 443.23 million. 

The press release states that with the project, at least three units of excavators and a unit of a backhoe would be available in all 20 dzongkhags both for new construction and maintenance of farm roads. “This is being planned to ensure balanced development and effective use of equipment way beyond the plan period.” 

Ugyen Cheku said the CMU has also received three Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers until today. The CMU has also requested for a fourth phase grant aid. 

“The support has helped us in executing important works in the country and have delivered benefit to the people,” he said. “We are thankful for the project and we remain hopeful that the assistance continues in future.”

Phurpa Lhamo