as a part of AM with PM

Staff Reporter

During the 41st session of AM with PM yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering along with representatives from the Gross National Happiness Commission met with the National Organic Flagship Coordination Unit (NOFP-CU) and other implementing departments and agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.

A press release from the Department of Agriculture states that the crop plantation work in different parts of the country was underway and certification processes had begun in collaboration with Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA).

Lyonchhen said that it was important for the implementing agencies to coordinate with the private sector, youth and enterprises for the production and marketing of organic products.

Trade attaché of Royal Bhutan Embassies and Consulates were advised to explore business-to-business linkages to export organic products and to explore certification required for the market destination and aim for the best standards.

Lyonchhen said that it was important to consider the sustainability of the programme. “Lyonchhen affirmed government’s support in tackling most of the issues facing the coordination unit,” states the press release.

He also suggested consideration of local expertise and human resources and to seek experts from outside only if local capacity was able to meet the requirement.

Lyonchhen also advised the coordination unit to consider including organic agriculture in education courses to create employment and suggested establishing of a high-end organic shop in Thimphu to provide diverse organic produce.

Lyonchhen said that the government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would provide support to establish trade links.  Once export  volume increases the government would explore freight charges on outbound flights to facilitate export.

The organic flagship program worth Nu 1 billion is aimed at high value, low volume production of 12 organic products. The products are buckwheat, quinoa, ginger, cardamom, mushroom, turmeric, trout, lemongrass oil, asparagus, beans, cauliflower and chili.