Phurpa Lhamo

The government has distributed more than Nu 259 million worth of electric and other fences benefiting 30,526 farming households across Bhutan in the past three years.

Agriculture Minister Yeshey Penjor, during the Question-hour session at the National Assembly yesterday, said that the fences covered over 6,483km distance.

He was responding to Jomotshangkha-Martshala Member of Parliament Norbu Wangzom about the motion passed on distributing barbed wires to farmers at half price in the past session.

Agriculture Minister Yeshey Penjor said that instead of 50 percent, the farmers received the wires at a discounted rate of around 70 and 80 percent.

He added that initially, only around Nu 103M was allocated but the budget was increased later.

The minister also responded to questions about pests and various other diseases affecting farm production.

Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor said that because pests and diseases are natural hazards, identifying them depends on farmers.

He added that currently, experts, officials in the ministry, and the local government were doing their best in terms of response. However, he said that because of Bhutan’s venture into organic farming and thus avoiding the usage of pesticides, the outbreaks of diseases and pests were more common in areas where organic farming took place.

Lyonpo said that the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) had assured the deployment of more officers (livestock and agriculture) after the reforms.

He added that for areas without these officers, a rapid response team including local government, and dzongkhag officials were formed for instant relief and response. Faster information sharing in terms of outbreaks through various technologies was also enhanced, he said.