Update: Following the midterm review of Gasa, where the dzongkhag requested reducing some of the production targets, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay has directed the agriculture ministry to verify if the set targets were unrealistically high.

According to dzongkhag officials, the production targets were set as per 2012 baseline for agriculture production. The baseline was calculated based on a 10-percent survey sampling. There were mistakes in the calculations because of which targets were set unrealistically high.

The least populated dzongkhag of 535 households with little over 3,000 people has produced only 165.50 metric tonnes (MT) of paddy against its target of 300MT, 20.72MT of wheat against the target of 50MT, 162MT of barley against the target of 250MT. It has produced only 254MT of potato against the target of 800 MT and 12,100 dozens of egg from its target of 20,000 dozens.

Gasa dzongdag Dorji Dhradhul said after two years of implementation, it was found that the actual production was half the target. However, Laya and Lunana gewogs have not just achieved the set production targets, but in some areas, have exceeded the targets, said the dzongdag.

While the dzongkhag have reasoned rural-urban migration, fallow agriculture fields and natural disasters as some causes of failure to meet the targets, dzongdag Dorji Dhradhul said that those were additional factors.

However, the dzongdag said although the Prime Minister has directed the agriculture ministry to verify whether the baseline targets were set unrealistically high, the Lyonchoen also recommended the agriculture ministry and dzongkhag to work together and try to achieve the set targets instead of reducing it.

He said, “We have been advised to work together to achieve the targets even if the they are unreasonably high.” This recommendation was also inline with His Majesty’s focus to enhance rural development.

The dzongdag said that going by the agriculture minister’s rough calculation on egg targets, each households in Gasa should rear at least five hens to produce 20,000 dozens of eggs in a year. “If that was the case, we could achieve it,” he said.

However, the current production is not even enough for the dzongkhag.

Dawa Gyelmo