USD 4.5mn support from AFACI for new and ongoing agriculture projects in Bhutan

AFACI has also invested about $ 8,87,000 in 10 completed projects in the country

Beginning from the establishment of the Asian food composition database project, the project for the development of vegetable varieties, improvement of the Rural Agricultural Technology Extension System, and others, the Asian Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (AFACI) has provided about USD 4.5mn to Bhutan for new and ongoing projects since 2010.

The projects are to promote sustainable agricultural growth in the Asian region and contribute to the consistent economic development of member countries through technological cooperation in agricultural and food sectors and others.

During the three-day Sixth General Assembly of AFACI hosted in Thimphu beginning August 29, 2022, the director general of the International Technology Bureau of Rural Development Administration, Korea, Dr. Taek-Ryon said that role of science and information is vital for agriculture.

“Science and innovation are the backbones for nature and thus all can do organic farming,” he said, adding that new projects of AFACI are of science and innovation and Bhutan is the lead of the organization which will bring a better outcome.

The AFACI has five new or ongoing projects in Bhutan.

Meanwhile, the total budget for the establishment of the Asian food composition database project was USD 90,000. For the project which began in August 2021, AFACI has paid USD 30,000. The completion date is in July 2024 and AFACI will pay the remaining amount during the budget years; 2022-23 and 2023-24.

Similarly, the project of development of vegetable varieties in Asia began in November 2019 and it will end in October 2022. The entire budget of USD 80,000 was paid in three years.

Improvement of the Rural Agricultural Technology Extension System in Asia is another project of AFACI in Bhutan. The allocated budget for this is USD 90,000, which began in January this year. USD 30,000 each will be disbursed in three consecutive budget years.

For the development of the soil atlas of Asia and the national soil information system, about USD 80,000 was paid in the past three budget years and the remaining USD 30,000 will be paid during the 2022-23 budget according to AFACI.

Similarly, the USD 80,000 allocated budget for the establishment of a prevention network for migratory pests in the Asia region was paid during the three (2019-22) budget years.

AFACI has also invested about $ 8,87,000 in 10 completed projects in the country.

It includes the epidemiology information interchange system for migratory disease and insect pests in the Asian region which was established at the cost of USD $90,000. The Asian network for sustainable organic farming technology was established in two different project periods at a cost of USD 150,000.

AFACI supported about USD 120,000 for the establishment of agricultural technology information network in Asia while USD 42,000 was supported for the distribution of national superior seeds for food crops in Asian countries.

The development of the Integrated Management System of Plant Genetic Resources project was completed in 2017 at the cost of USD 150,000 and the development of the Integrated Management System of Plant Genetic Resources (IMPGR) was established at the cost of USD 42,000 while another phase of IMPGR was established at the cost of USD 12,000.

AFACI funded USD 120,000 for the current status of improved postharvest handling in the Asian region and USD 53,000 for the Development of Agricultural Products Processing Technology project.

Sangay Rabten from Thimphu