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Bhutan Observer
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239 Power-tillers Handed-over
Administrator, April 15, 2015
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The handover ceremony for the “Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers” was held by Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Royal Government of Bhutan on 16th April 2015 in Paro, Western Bhutan.

The ceremony was attended by H.E. Mr. Tshering Tobgay, Prime Minister of Bhutan, Mr. Yutaka Kikuta, Chargés d'affaires ad interim of Japan as well as other relevant officials of Royal Government of Bhutan.

This project, totaling 110 million Japanese Yen, provided Ministry of Agriculture and Forests with 239 power-tillers to enhance agricultural production in rural areas of Bhutan, where labour shortage is serious.

“Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers” is one of the frameworks under Japan’s Grant Aid. This scheme started in 1977 and aimed to extend assistance for agricultural materials and equipment such as fertilizers and farm machineries, which enhance production of edible crops such as rice, wheat and corn, to developing countries suffering from food shortage. Through this scheme, the Government of Japan has provided about 2,900 power-tillers to Bhutan since 1984.

Japanese farm machineries are highly acclaimed in Bhutan, as they dramatically improve productivity per person through mechanizing various agricultural works such as cultivation, sowing and threshing as well as irrigation with connecting a pump.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forest, Royal Government of Bhutan has been making efforts in agriculture development for poverty reduction and food security, especially focusing on farm mechanization. However, the rate of farm mechanization in Bhutan was about 8% as of 2008. The Government of Japan extended the Grant Aid for the provision of 239 power-tillers as there is urgent need to address labour shortage and improve agricultural production in rural areas of Bhutan.

The Government of Japan hopes that the Grant Aid for the provision of power-tillers will improve agricultural production in Bhutan, thus enhance food security of Bhutan, and will further develop the relations of friendship and cooperation between Japan and Bhutan.

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