Bhutan and UN’s FAO develop five year plan to improve food and nutrition security

Bhutan and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations have developed a five-year Country Programming Framework (CPF) on technical cooperation and partnership to improve food and nutrition security in Bhutan last week.

The CPF is also designed to help safeguard and sustainably manage the uses of the country’s natural resources as well as to combat climate change and improve resilience to disasters.

Given the set target of Bhutan’s graduation to the status of lower middle income country by 2023, this CPF will reportedly also increase FAO’s support for profound economic growth, especially in agriculture transformation towards value chain-based, market-oriented, sustainable management systems, enhanced incomes, and livelihoods of rural farmers.

According to the press release from FAO Bhutan, the formulation process of the CPF has considered major challenges faced by the Renewable Natural Resources (RNR) sector and involved iterative reviews of key national policies, development priorities as reflected in the 12th FYP (2018-2023) and has also taken into account the FAO’s regional and global priorities. Other inputs for this CPF are relevant initiatives and programs of the United Nations Sustainable Development Partnership Framework for Bhutan (UNSDPF) 2019-2023 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The concept for the CPF, jointly prepared by FAO and Bhutan and led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, was presented during a launching ceremony by agriculture and forests minister Yeshey Penjor and Kundhavi Kadiresan, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific.

The CPF was launched in the presence of foreign affairs minister Tandi Dorji, UN Resident Coordinator Gerald Daly, senior government officials, heads of other UN agencies, development partners and civil society organizations in Thimphu.

The CPF, according to the press release, is expected to help Bhutan in preparing the 2045 RNR vision and supporting agricultural diversification through specialized operations – organic farming, Geographical Indications (GI) and GIAHS – that are suitable for Bhutan’s development model.

Tshering from Thimphu