Power Tiller distribution and Mass Chili planting program graced by His Excellency Sonam Lyonpo at ARDC, Bajo
On 18th March, 2017, the Honorable Ministers of Agriculture and the Health and other eminent parliament members visited ARDC Bajo. The main purpose of the visit was to distribute one power tiller each to all the Geogs of Punakha and Wangdue to encourage farm mechanization and also to commemorate mass chili planting at Chimipang Royal Project.
In the morning, Hon’ble Ministers did handing taking of the power tiller at ARDC, Bajo. This is in line with the pledge of the Ministry by distributing 5 power tillers to every geog and ease farm labour shortage. After the handing taking session, the Hon’ble Minister lead the team to Chimipang Royal Project to participate for mass commercial chili transplanting that was joined by RNR extension staffs, Gups, Dzongdas of Punakha and Wangdue dzongkhags, staff and students of CNR, staff members and ESP from ARDC Bajo, officials from MoAF, and Hon’ble Health Minister. As an initiative and interventions of the Agriculture Ministry to address chili shortage in the country, about 10 acres area was transplanted with chili. In the past, the chili production in the country was inadequate and maximum quantity was imported from neighboring country, India. However, in the recent past due to high pesticide content in the imported chilies, Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority banned imported chilies from last year. As a result, the Department of Agriculture is presently focusing on capacity development of the people through trainings and improved production technologies to produce chili to meet the deficit even during the off seasons.