The handover ceremony for the “Project for the Rehabilitation of Taklai Irrigation System in Sarpang District” was held on 15 April 2015 in Sarpang District, Southern Bhutan, which was hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests of Bhutan.
The ceremony was attended by Yeshey Dorji, Minister of
Agriculture and Forests, Mr. Toshihiro Yamakoshi, Counsellor, Embassy of Japan as well as other relevant officials of Royal Government of Bhutan.
Agriculture is traditionally a basic industry for Bhutan and one of the five important sectors (“Five Jewels” named by the Royal Government of Bhutan) for Bhutan’s economic development, along with hydropower, tourism, small and medium enterprises and mining. The Government of Japan has placed agriculture at the centre of its assistance for Bhutan and supported Bhutan’s agricultural development in such areas as mechanization, horticulture and irrigation.
This project, totaling 1 billion 51 million Japanese Yen, aimed to rehabilitate damaged Taklai Irrigation System in Sarpang District, Southern Bhutan and the rehabilitation has completed.
While a large part of the country is covered by mountainous areas, Taklai area of Sarpang District in Southern Bhutan is endowed with many plain fields and warm climate; thus it has high potential for agriculture. Taklai Irrigation System is one of the oldest and the most important irrigation systems in Bhutan.
However, this irrigation system had been damaged by a series of recent floods in Taklai River, resulting in lowered agricultural production. The Grant Aid to rehabilitate the irrigation system will improve intake condition and efficiency of irrigation water, thus rice acreage in dry season is expected to significantly expand from 10 ha to 560 ha, and whole irrigation acreage is expected to expand about 25% from 883 ha to 1,120ha.
The Government of Japan hopes that the Grant Aid for the rehabilitation of the irrigation system will enhance food security of Bhutan, thus facilitate poverty reduction in Bhutan, and will further develop the relations of friendship and cooperation between Japan and Bhutan.