Thimphu, September 21, 2017 — The Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) and the World Bank launched today the $8 million Food Security and Agriculture Productivity Project (FSAPP) to support efforts to reduce rural poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition to benefit the Bhutanese people.
The project is designed to reduce the country’s reliance on food imports and help combat malnutrition in children while improving the productivity of agricultural, which employs 60 percent of Bhutan’s people. This project will benefit over 10,000 households, 30 percent of beneficiaries are women.
“This project will help increase productivity of crops such as rice, vegetables, pulses, potatoes, cardamom, ginger and citrus,” said Qimiao Fan, the World Bank Country Director for Bhutan. “It will equip farmers and producers’ groups with greater knowledge and resources, while also promoting high value nutrient-rich crops for domestic and export markets,” said Fan.
The FSAPP is a five-year project (2017-2022) funded through a grant under the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP). The project also aims to improve homegrown school feeding programs for 3,000 school children in 16 schools located in 11 project gewogs. It will do so by linking producer groups with schools, focusing on 24 gewogs in the five south western dzongkhags of Chhukha, Dagana, Haa, Samtse and Sarpang.
“The project presents an important opportunity to reduce pockets of extreme poverty in Bhutan and enable smallholder farmers to move from subsistence farming to commercial market-driven agriculture. The project will also focus on strengthening women’s roles by creating opportunities for them to participate in activities, ensuring they are represented in farmer groups and are involved in decision making,” said Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, the Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.
The grant agreement was signed on May 18, 2017 by the World Bank and the RGoB. The FSAPP Project was developed in partnership with the World Bank and the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).