A farmer’s manual on climate resilient agricultural practices and technologies was launched in Tsirang yesterday.

The 50-page pictorial manual suggests solutions to critical climate change issues and impacts on vegetables in Barshong gewog, and describes climate-smart practices for sustainable production and income of the vegetable farmers.

The manual was produced as a part of several pilot activities taking place in Barshong through support from the EU-funded programme on Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalayas (Himalica), managed by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

According to Dr. Surendra Raj Joshi, ICIMOD’s Himalica programme coordinator, the manual has been prepared based on lessons and findings from similar agro-ecological zones from the region in order to equip communities to reduce risks of extreme events such as too little or too much water and have resilient practices adapted and expanded. “The recommended technologies and practices are simple and affordable, yet make sense to address bigger risks of climate change,” he said.

The Programme Director of Agriculture Research and Development Centre in Bajo, Pema Chofil, who coordinated the development of contents for the manual, said that it’s target audience includes educated farmers, extension supervisors, local officials, teachers coordinating school agriculture programme, and individuals interested in farming.

“The manual features simple but proven technologies,” he said. “Some of these technologies have been around for quite some time, but hadn’t reached Bhutan. Others have been around but weren’t popularized.”

The manual therefore has been designed in accordance with the basic principles of environmental, economic, and social sustainability, and provides detailed steps for vegetable production, from land preparation to harvesting, and post-harvest management.

The Himalica pilot interventions in Tsirang focus on four crop value chains – bean, cabbage, onion, and ginger – and all these crops are feature