Sep 24

National Organic Program, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests of Bhutan: Living Growth National Happiness

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bhutan delivering the speech entitled “Living Growth National Happiness: Making a Full Policy Commitment to Organic Agriculture”

Sustainable Development as per its dictionary reads “a pattern of economic growth in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in present but also for the generations to come”.

Rio+20 (United Nations Conference on sustainable Development) is a platform where initiatives to promote sustainable development are sought after for achieving a greener economy and a healthier and stable environment for all to live in. On that occasion, at the Opening Session of IFOAM Sustainable Development Learning Event at Rio+20 on June 19, 2012, the Prime Minister of Bhutan delivered a speech “Living Growth National Happiness: Making a Full Policy Commitment to Organic Agriculture”.

The first step towards official adoption of sustainable development strategy at the National level was instigated in Bhutan in the year 2004, with the embracement of Gross National Happiness (GNH) as the Nations Developmental indicator.

Here in Bhutan, our system of Sustainable agriculture includes different production methods, systems and approaches that aim to meet the goal of profitability, stewardship and quality of life as in accordance with the GNH principles.  One of such approaches, we feel, by no means the only one is ORGANIC FARMING. We are determined to make our agriculture genuinely sustainable through working with the nature to enhance rather then degrade, and to farm in such a way as to enrich rather then deplete soil nutrients.

The theme for our eleventh five year plan “Rural Prosperity” is in equivalence with the Rio+20 themes of Greener economy and Sustainable Development, where both are aimed towards the same target of achieving sustainable development and lifting rural people out of poverty.  As stated by our Honorable Prime Minister at the opening session of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (Rio+20), I quote” without food security there is no other kind of security. And without sustainable agriculture, there is no food security.” And I believe Organic Agriculture is the only means for sustaining agriculture and so all forms of life on earth.

We as Bhutanese strongly welcome and encourage more and more of such initiatives thus facilitating a happier life in harmony with our mother nature!

Thinley Gyem
Horticulture officer
National Organic Program, Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests of Bhutan


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